§ MR. BRADLAUGH
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been drawn to the case of George Skinner, 60 years of age, sentenced by the Worthing Magistrates to one month's imprisonment with hard labour for stealing coal value 1½d. notwithstanding it was his first offence; and, whether he will take any action in the matter?
THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. CHILDERS)
Yes, Sir; my attention has been called to this case. It appears that the prisoner stole 15 lbs. of coal, and the sentence was unanimously agreed upon by a bench of six magistrates. The theft was a deliberate one, and there appears to have been a good deal of coal-stealing in the neighbourhood. I see no reason to interfere with the discretion of the justices.