HC Deb 05 June 1882 vol 270 cc78-9

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to an opinion given by Mr. Justice Lopes at the Central Criminal Court, on May 24, when the learned Judge stated— He could not think that forty convicts should be in charge of only one warder, armed with a short sword, while they (the convicts) had in their possession such murderous weapons as those presented in court. It was said that the means of communication was a whistle; but it might occur that the warder was rendered insensible. It was worthy of attention whether this system could not be altered, so that a small number of convicts should be together under the charge of one warder, or that the number of warders should be increased; and, whether he will consider the propriety of altering the system complained of?


I have inquired into the matter of which the hon. Member speaks. It appears to have arisen from a want of vigilance on the part of many of the warders. I have directed that in future precautions must be taken to prevent such an occurrence again taking place.