HC Deb 02 May 1879 vol 245 cc1595-6

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in reference to the case of Frederick Taylor, who was convicted of an alleged assault at the Greenwich Police Court on the 9th of April last, and sentenced to two months' imprisonment, with hard labour, and on whose behalf a memorial was at once presented to the Secretary of State, Whether the Solicitor to the Treasury had completed the investigation which he had had in hand for nearly a fortnight; whether instructions had yet been given for the trial of the real culprit, who confessed immediately after the conviction of Taylor, or for the release of the latter; who was responsible for the delay that had taken place, whereby nearly half the sentence would have expired before the completion of the inquiry; and whether, in the event of Taylor's innocence being proved, any compensation could be given him for the hardships he had endured?


, in reply, said, this was a somewhat peculiar case. The man was convicted by the police magistrate on the evidence of four or five witnesses. Another man then confessed; but the solicitor in the case, on being asked to have it adjourned, declined to take that course. An appeal was then suggested, but no appeal was entered. He could not help saying that there were considerable laches in this matter; but as soon as the case was brought under the attention of the Solicitor to the Treasury, there was no delay. Application was made on the 12th of April, and it was at once referred to the magistrate, whose answer was received on the 19th. Thirteen witnesses, scattered up and down London, were examined, and there had been no unreasonable delay on the part of the Solicitor to the Treasury. The investigation of the case was completed to-day.