HC Deb 21 July 1864 vol 176 cc1792-3

said it appeared from the Report of the Sanitary Committee of the City of London that in the twelve months ending September, 1863, not less than 114,000 lbs. of diseased, and 76,000 lbs. of putrid meat, were seize and condemned in the City of London. He therefore would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether Alexander Stewart, who was convicted at the Central Criminal Court in December, 1863, of the offence of sending diseased meat from Scotland to London for sale, and sentenced to the payment of a fine of £50, and imprisonment for the term of twelve calendar months, has been liberated from gaol without payment of the fine; and, if so, that he will state the grounds on which Stewart was so liberated and the fine remitted; and whether applications are not now before the Secretary of State for the Home Department for the remission of punishments and penalties in other similar cases.


I find, Sir, that Alexander Stewart, the person referred to, was convicted in November, 1863, for exposing for sale meat unfit for food. An application was made for a mitigation of the sentence, which was refused. But at the end of May, when he had undergone six months of the sentence, the Visiting Justices of Holloway Prison recommended his discharge on medical grounds, sending a certificate from the surgeon stating that his life was in great danger, and that unless soon liberated he would die; upon which he was discharged. The only other case of a similar kind in which, so far as I can ascertain, any application has been made is that of a man named George Thompson Smith, sentenced to March last to six months' imprisonment, and that application has been refused.