HC Deb 28 February 1888 vol 322 cc1636-7
MR. KING (Hull, Central)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Depart- ment, Whether his attention has been directed to the case of a negro named Riley, who, having been charged by his captain with an offence at sea, which he strenuously denied, was detained in prison at Hull, under repeated remands, the prosecutor not appearing to maintain the charge, for 109 days, and was discharged last week by the magistrate in default of the prosecution appearance; and, whether the accused, having been discharged under such circumstances, is entitled to any remedy for his long detention?


Yes, Sir; my attention has been called to this case. The failure of the prosecution to appear was due to the fact that the ship in which the witnesses were travelling to this country was condemned as unfit at Bermuda, and the crew were paid off and discharged. The record of the Naval Court, held at the British Vice Consulate at Pensacola, which found the prisoner guilty of assault and remitted him to this country for trial, was left at Bermuda; and the captain, who was the prosecutor, was ill in bed. Under these circumstances, the prisoner, who had been in custody since the 25th of October, was discharged by the magistrate; but it was not a case in which I could advise that any compensation should be given.