HC Deb 16 March 1886 vol 303 c970
MR. HOULDSWORTH (Manchester, N.W.)

asked Mr. Attorney General, If he is aware that there is a prisoner in Strangeways Gaol at Manchester, named Robert Howe Ashton, not convicted of a criminal offence, but who is confined at the instance of the Inland Revenue Board, under a sentence of imprisonment for life, unless he can pay seven hundred pounds for penalties incurred as an Income Tax Collector; and, if, considering that the prisoner has no means or prospect of paying the amount, it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to keep him in confinement for the whole term of his natural life, or when he will be released?


, in reply, said, that he was informed by the Board of Inland Revenue that Robert Howe Ashton was confined in Strangeways Gaol in default of payment of penalties incurred by him in respect of serious charges of fraud both against the Board and against private individuals. But for the terms of an Act applicable to him as an Inland Revenue Collector, Ashton would have been proceeded against in a Criminal Court. A Memorial from Ashton praying for his release was now before the Board. The Board offered to furnish the hon. Member with all shorthand writer's notes of the trial and a copy of the correspondence.