HC Deb 31 October 1884 vol 293 cc656-7

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to the report, in The Carlisle Journal of the 28th October, of the evidence given, at the Cumberland Assizes, by John Douglass Sempill, superintendent of police and deputy chief constable, upon the trial of a man named France, who was acquitted of complicity in the dynamite explosion at Cleator Moor; whether Mr. Sempill stated that, while France was under remand at Whitehaven, a constable from Longtown, named Tomer, whom the witness described as "an experienced detective officer," was put into the prisoner's cell, in plain clothes, for several hours; whether the witness stated that Tomer was shut up with the prisoner for the purpose of taking care of him, but that "if the prisoner had made any statement, he should have inquired into it;" whether France states that the detective officer represented himself as a fellow prisoner, pretended to be drunk, swore at the police, and attempted to inveigle him into a statement respecting the charge against him; and, whether an inquiry will be held into the conduct of Tomer, and of the officers responsible for directing his visit, and admitting him to the cell of an untried prisoner?


, in reply, said, he had had heard nothing of this matter until he saw the hon. Member's Question yesterday. He had sent it to the Chief Constable in Cumberland for inquiry, and he would answer the hon. Gentleman when he had received the information.


said, he would renew the Question on Monday.