HC Deb 31 March 1879 vol 245 cc15-6

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the Commission of Inquiry instructed by him to examine into the case of Edward Harris, a cabman, convicted by the Clerken well Police Magistrate, and on whom an inquest was held, have yet issued their Report, and whether he will lay it upon the Table of the House and have it printed for the use of Members?


in reply, said, there was no Commission of Inquiry in this case. He did make a strict inquiry into it, but not through a regular Commission, and he had, therefore, nothing to lay on the Table of the House. He would, however, tell the hon. Gentleman where he thought the real fault lay in the case, and it was quite as well that it should be known. The cabman, unfortunately, fell from his cab, and there was no doubt whatever that the fall was the cause of his death. It was proved, in his opinion, to be entirely the fault of one of the policemen at the station that this man was brought before the magistrate and treated as he was. The policeman, in his opinion, committed two breaches of discipline. In the first place, he did not report the fall, which he undoubtedly ought to have done. He said nothing about it till afterwards. In the next place, he did not do that which undoubtedly it was his absolute duty to do—namely, having seen the fall, to send for the divisional surgeon immediately. If the policeman had done his duty, what took place the next day before the magistrate never would have occurred. The moment he found what had taken place, he gave orders to the Superintendent of Police to deal with the policeman.