HC Deb 21 June 1888 vol 327 c793
MR. H. J. WILSON (York, W.R., Holmfirth)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is true, as stated in The Freeman's Journal of June 14, 1888, that the Limerick Magistrates sent William Marks to prison, on Wednesday, June 6, for a month, for selling indecent photographs; whether the Lord Lieutenant granted him a free pardon; whether he was liberated after one week in gaol; who reported the case to the Lord Lieutenant, and obtained the pardon; on what ground was the pardon granted; whether it is true that the photographs would have been destroyed by order of the Lay Magistrates, but for the intervention of the Resident Magistrate, Mr. Irwin, who opposed such destruction, and contended that equally had photographs were exhibited in the shop windows of London, Limerick, and other places; and, what course the Government intend to take with regard to future prosecutions of a similar kind?


in reply, said, the Resident Magistrate had reported that the statements which had appeared in the newspapers with regard to the case of William Marks, who was sent to prison at Limerick on June 6, for selling indecent photographs, were inaccurate. The magistrates first sentenced the man to imprisonment for a month. They then re-considered the case, and, owing to the absence of evidence on a particular point, marked it "no rule." The allegation that the photographs belonging to Marks would have been destroyed on the order of the Lay Magistrates were it not for the intervention of the Resident Magistrate was a pure fabrication; and the statement that the Resident Magistrate said that equally bad photographs were exhibited in Limerick and London was also untrue, Marks was also charged with carrying on the business of a pedlar without a licence. He was fined 10s. or the alternative of seven days' imprisonment. Someone paid the fine, and the prisoner was discharged in the ordinary way. The matter did not at all come under the cognizance of the Lord Lieutenant.