§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to a case before Mr. Bridge, Metropolitan Police Magistrate at Bow Street, on December 17 last, when the magistrate refused an application for an adjournment of a summons on the instance of one John Coleman against the police for alleged assault; whether the said John Coleman was then in prison, and whether the magistrate was informed that an order of the Secretary of State had been obtained for his production in Court; whether the magistrate refused to wait for such production, and ordered John Coleman in his absence to pay £10 10s. costs; whether John Coleman is still in prison; whether he is aware that John Coleman's wife resides in the Model Buildings, Katharine Buildings, Tower Hill, and occupies there one poorly furnished room; whether the Treasury, or the police on behalf of the Treasury, have this week notified to Mrs. Coleman the intention of the Government to seize her furniture for such £10 10s. costs; and, whether he will consider whether it is possible to remit the claim for costs in this case? Also, Whether the right hon. Gentleman's attention has been called to a case before Mr. Bridge, a Metropolitan Police Magistrate at Bow Street, on December 17 last, when the magistrate refused to adjourn a charge of assault against the police made by one Dennis White, who applied for the adjournment on the ground that his solicitor was then engaged in another case at the Old Bailey; whether Mr. Bridge ordered Dennis White to pay 568 £10 10s. costs to the Solicitor of the Treasury; whether he is aware that Dennis White is a dock labourer, without furniture, lodging with his aunt at 14, Raymond Street, St. George's-in-the-East; whether he is aware that on Wednesday a summons was served on Dennis White to show cause why he should not be committed to prison for non-payment of such £10 10s.; and, whether he will consider whether it is possible to remit the claim for costs in this case?
§ MR. JAMES STUART (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
asked, whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that a similar summons had been served upon Feargus O'Connor, and that in that case the policeman in respect of whom the costs were given was No. 93 A, who was said at the time not to be in existence?
§ THE SECRETARY or STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
I cannot answer the hon. Gentleman's Question without Notice. In answer to the Questions of the hon. Member for Northampton, I have to say that Coleman and White both obtained summonses against the police for alleged assault. The summonses were adjourned at their instance from the 10th to the 17th of December. On the 17th they were both properly represented by a professional adviser, a solicitor, who did not apply to the Court for an adjournment, but for leave to withdraw the summons. This was refused, and the summonses were dismissed with costs. Judgment summonses for payment of these costs had been obtained, and will be heard to-morrow. It will be open to Coleman and White to show cause to-morrow that they have not the means of satisfying the judgments; and I shall await the result of these judgment summonses before coming to any decision.
§ MR. MATTHEWS
There is not the slightest difficulty as to Coleman's appearance, and he could have appeared on the 17th December; but his professional adviser wanted an adjournment.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH
asked, whether, as Coleman was at present in the custody of the Crown for an assault in Trafalgar Square, he could appear to-morrow and show cause why his furniture should not be seized?
§ MR. BRADLAUGH
In consequence of the answer of the right hon. Gentleman, which I consider very unsatisfactory, it is my intention, after the Questions have been answered, to move the adjournment of the House, in order to discuss this, which I regard as a question of urgent public importance.