HC Deb 31 July 1861 vol 164 cc1799-800

said, he had been asked on a previous day a question respecting the case of Thomas Carter, who had been committed to prison for three weeks in the Isle of Wight, under the Vagrant Act. He had that morning received an explanation of the case from one of the committing Magistrates. His letter was dated from a place in Ayrshire, whither his (Sir George Lewis's) letters had followed him. The writer said he had instructed the Clerk of the Petty Sessions to forward to the Home Office a Report of the evidence in the case of Carter, but he (Sir George Lewis) had not yet received that evidence. The writer added that Carter was convicted on the sworn testimony of the police, who stated that two young women, on their way home to St. Helens, were so frightened by his jumping out nearly upon them, that they were obliged to return back to obtain the assistance of their brother. Carter was found by the police drunk in a field, and unable to give any account of himself. He had been seen previously by a sergeant of police wandering about the streets of Ryde, and unable to give any account of himself. He asked the Sergeant where he could obtain a bed, and the Sergeant told him, and told him also the price he would have to pay for it. Carter, however, did not avail himself of the information, but was found subsequently in a field drunk. That was the statement made by the Magistrate, and which had been thought by him sufficient to justify the committal.