HC Deb 24 May 1867 vol 187 cc1025-6

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been directed to the case of two young men, named Henry Fulford and Mark Wellstead, who were convicted of night poaching in March last by a bench of Wiltshire Magistrates, upon the evidence of a single witness, contradicted by other testimony, and who have since been exonerated by the confessions of two other men, who have acknowledged themselves to be the persons really guilty of the offence; and, whether it is true that the sentences of imprisonment pronounced upon them have nevertheless been carried into effect, and that one of them (Mark Wellstead), is still in gaol?


said, in reply, that he had made inquiries into this subject, and he found that an application was made a short time ago by a gentleman named Paine, to the Home Department, and in consequence of that application and the documents which accompanied it, the matter was referred to the committing magistrates. No Report from the magistrates had reached the Home Office, but a letter had been received in which one of the magistrates impugned a certain portion of Mr. Paine's statement. He had thought it better to wait until both the magistrates engaged in the case had made their Report. Fulford—one of the men convicted—had been discharged, having served his time. The other prisoner was still in prison. The inquiry would be prosecuted as speedily as possible.