§ MR. T. FRY (Darlington)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been called to the unequal sentences passed upon two men, at different quarter sessions at Durham for the crime of sheep stealing at Darlington on October 4th 1885; the originator of the theft, an ex-policeman named Adams, previously convicted, who absconded (but was afterwards apprehended), receiving only two months' imprisonment from January 4th 1886, whilst his accomplice Barron, long out 446 of work, and who confessed at the time to the part he had taken, was sentenced to ten months on October 21st 1885; and, if he will take steps to rectify this unequal punishment?
THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. CHILDERS) (Edinburgh, S.)
The fact of the inequality of these two sentences is a thing much to be regretted. I have most carefully gone into all the facts, and have come to the opinion not that Barron's sentence was too severe, but that Adams's sentence, owing to a miscarriage of justice, was far too light. I should not feel justified, for the sake of reducing what is undeniably an inequality of punishment, in recommending a remission of the severer sentence. I have communicated with the Chairman of Quarter Sessions with regard to the two cases.