§ MR. HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has boon called to the case of George Butterley, a Sheffield lad of respectable antecedents, who, during an excursion trip to Cleethorpes, took nine oysters from a box on the beach, for which he was sentenced on the 9th instant, at the Grimsby County Police Court to one month's hard labour; and, if, having regard to the probability that the Bench was unaware of the Royal Assent having been given, on 8th August, to the Probation of First Offenders Act, and its applicability to such first cases, he can see his way, under all the circumstances, to advise the Crown to remit the remainder of the sentence, upon such conditions as may be desirable, with a view of rescuing the boy from the present and future consequences of the prison taint?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
I have received a Report from the Justices, who were of opinion upon the evidence they heard that the case was a bad one, and inform me that oyster stealing has been very frequent of late, and the proprietors suffer serious loss. The information which my hon. Friend has since been good enough to lay before I me, and which was not before the magistrates, induces me to think that I am justified in advising Her Majesty that the remainder of the sentence should be remitted.