§ MR. GOURLEY (Sunderland)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home 1225 Department, If his attention had been called to the evidence given at the trial of Paul James Paynter (captain), and James Fisher (second officer), of the barque Embleton, of Liverpool, before the Borough Bench at Sunderland, on the 6th January last, for having unlawfully caused grievous bodily harm to a seaman, named Robert White (which resulted in his jumping overboard), whilst on a voyage from San Francisco to Sunderland, and which ended in the case being dismissed under section 42 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 24 & 25 Vict.; whether he is aware that since the trial the Board of Trade have held an inquiry before the members of the Local Marine Board, who have suspended Captain Paynter's certificate for six months; and, whether, under the circumstances, the Government will consider the propriety of ordering a new trial?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
Yes, Sir; my attention has been called to this case. The charge was under the Offences Against the Person Act, 24 & 25 Vict. c. 100, Section 42. The facts are as stated in the second paragraph of the Question. All the circumstances of the case were before the Justices; and they appear to have arrived at the conclusion that, in the absence of the man White, the evidence against the defendants was insufficient. Section 45 of the statute above quoted provides that in cases where the complaint has been dismissed the defendant shall be released from all further proceedings, civil or criminal, for the same cause. The Government cannot, therefore, order a new trial.