HC Deb 17 July 1879 vol 248 cc616-7

asked the Judge Advocate General, Whether it is true that Colour-Serjeant Dickaty of the 60th Bines was recently tried by court martial in South Africa and sentenced to five years' penal servitude for misbehaviour before the enemy; whether it is true that the prisoner has been brought to England, released, and ordered to rejoin his regiment at Winchester in his original rank of Colour-Serjeant; if he will state the description of court martial, i.e. whether general or district, before which the prisoner was tried, the exact charge on which the prisoner was arraigned, and the sentence of the court passed upon him; whether the sentence was confirmed by the officer convening the court; whether the sentence was subsequently remitted; or whether the proceedings of the court martial were quashed; and, whether the fact of his having been so tried will he recorded against him in the Regimental Defaulters' Book?


Sir, Colour-Sergeant Dickaty was tried by general court martial on the 6th day of April last, under the 52nd Article of War, upon the charge of '' shamefully abandoning a post which it was his duty to defend." The court found him guilty of the charge, and inflicted a sentence of reduction to the ranks and five years' penal servitude. The finding and sentence of the court were confirmed on the 6th day of April last, and the prisoner was sent home without delay. The proceedings of the court were submitted to me in due course on the 13th day of June last, when I was of opinion that the evidence adduced for the prosecution did not legally warrant the finding, and I, therefore, advised the confirming officer that the finding was not in conformity with law, and that the prisoner ought not to be made subject to the consequences of the conviction. The opinion I thus expressed was communicated to the Horse Guards, and I am informed that Colour-Sergeant Dickaty was immediately released on his arrival in England and returned to his duty at Winchester.