HC Deb 27 July 1868 vol 193 c1826

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he is now in possession of any information respecting the circumstances under which Mr. Castle, of Melton Mowbray, was sentenced to imprisonment and hard labour for nonpayment of costs?


Sir, I have received some information on the subject, from which it appears that Mr. Castle had taken proceedings against a man for using threatening and abusive language. The summons was dismissed, and Mr. Castle was ordered to pay the costs, or to be imprisoned with hard labour. I may mention that the Act, commonly known as Jervis's Act, gives the magistrate discretionary power to impose imprisonment with or without hard labour. Mr. Castle, it further appears, has been several times imprisoned for non-payment of costs, or things of that sort. On this occasion, however, somebody, to prevent his going to prison, came forward and paid the costs for him, and therefore he was not imprisoned at all, nor was he put to the slightest inconvenience, though he protested loudly against the interference of his friends, and professed himself very desirous of undergoing imprisonment.