HC Deb 02 March 1875 vol 222 c1046

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is true, as stated in the "Manchester Guardian," that a child of seven years of age was, last month, sentenced at Stalybridge to two terms of seven days' imprisonment each, with "hard labour;" whether a child of such tender years can lawfully be subjected to such punishment, and whether it might have been sent to a Reformatory; and, if he can state what was the nature of the "hard labour" ordered?


in reply, said, it was true that a child was sentenced, not, however, of the age of seven, but of eight years, upon two charges of pocket picking to which it pleaded guilty. He was informed by the Mayor of the borough that hard labour was neither ordered nor inflicted, and that, under the particular section of the Act under which the charge was made, there was no power of sending the child to a reformatory.