HC Deb 09 May 1881 vol 261 cc13-4

asked the Lord Advocate, If his attention has been called to the case of Mr. Fraser, Inspector of Poor in the parish of Glenelg, who was tried on a charge of manslaughter at the late assizes in Inverness, which was with the concurrence of the presiding judge withdrawn by the Crown Prosecutor before the case for the defence was opened; and, whether, seeing the great annoyance and expense to which Mr. Fraser has been exposed in meeting so serious a charge, he will recommend to the Treasury that, as the prosecution was undertaken by the Crown, and as no case was made out for the consideration of the jury, Mr. Fraser should be reimbursed for his necessary expenses out of the public funds?


Sir, the prosecution referred to by the hon. Member was instituted after very careful inquiry, and after consultation by Crown counsel. Although the case broke down at trial, the learned Judge who presided expressed his opinion that it was a proper case to be brought to trial; and after reading the Papers I have no hesitation in concurring in that opinion. There are no public funds out of which the costs of an accused person can be paid, and I do not think that this is a case for proposing a special Vote for the expenses to which the accused party has been put.