HC Deb 18 June 1874 vol 220 cc71-2

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is true that last week, in the Police Court of Bolton, a man named William Venables was convicted of savagely, and without any provocation, kicking, with iron-shod clogs, a woman named Ellen Hindley and her baby, and was sentenced to only three months' imprisonment; and, if he can explain why the full punishment of six months' imprisonment was not inflicted?


, in reply, said, he had made inquiries into the case referred to by the hon. Member, and found that the Question treated a great many things as facts which were not so. The communication which he had re- ceived from the magistrates stated that, in their opinion, there had not been any savagery; that the provocation offered was very great; that the kicks upon Ellen Hindley were not of a serious nature, as they only caused mere discoloration of the skin; and that there was no evidence whatever that the child was kicked or injured besides an abrasion, which was not supposed to arise from a kick. Therefore, the magistrates did not inflict the full punishment of six months' imprisonment. He might remind his hon. Friend that, though he had the power of recommending a remission of punishment when it was considered too great, he had not the power, where magistrates had in their discretion ordered a particular punishment, of inflicting a severer sentence.