HC Deb 24 April 1882 vol 268 c1271

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been called to the recent trial, at the Chester Sessions, of the ringleaders of the riots against the Salvation Army in that city, who were charged with violent assaults on the members of that religious body, by which many peaceable citizens were injured, one woman having been at the point of death for more than a week, and a young man having become totally blind in consequence; if he is aware that the prisoners were all found guilty by the jury, and were proved, during their trial, to have been persons of known bad character; and if it is true that the Recorder of Chester inflicted no punishment, but simply bound them over to come up for judgment if called upon; if he is aware that the rioters dealt with summarily by the borough magistrates, at the time these ringleaders were sent to trial, are still in prison; and, if he will take into consideration how far the Law is properly vindicated by the lesser offenders receiving a more severe punishment than the ringleaders?


said, he had no power over the magistrates in such matters. He could not order a heavier sentence than the magistrates thought fit to inflict.