HC Deb 26 June 1888 vol 327 cc1285-7
MR. A. L. BROWN (, &c.) Hawick

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether it is the case that on May 3, Mr. William Gibbie, skinner, Galashiels, was fishing on the Tweed near St. Boswell's, when Mr. Andrew Goodfellow, gamekeeper to Lord Polwarth, ordered him to desist, and, on his refusing to do so, assaulted him; whether on the same day Gibbie gave information of the assault to Constable Teller, of Langlee, who reported it to the Fiscal; whether on the same day Goodfellow gave information of assault against Gibbie, and whether the Fiscal at once instituted proceedings against Gibbie, who was tried on May 17 and acquitted; whether on the day of the trial Gibbie made complaint to the Fiscal against Goodfellow, and whether the Fiscal intimated to Gibbie's agent on May 31 that he did not intend to take up his complaint; whether Gibbie and his Friend Thomas Young, who was witness of the assault, have since made affidavit before a Justice of the Peace stating the facts of the case, and forwarded the same to the Lord Advocate, asking him take up the complaint; and, whether he intends to institute proceedings against the gamekeeper for the alleged assault?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. H. A. MACDONALD) (Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities)

It is the fact that, on the date mentioned, a man, named Gebbie not Gibbie, was fishing in the Tweed near St. Boswell's, at a place where he had no right to fish; and on being requested to desist by the gamekeeper, Andrew Goodfellow, he refused to do so, whereupon a scuffle ensued, in which the gamekeeper was severely injured, a rib being fractured. It is also the case that Gebbie informed Constable Telford of the alleged assault, but no charge was made by him until after he was charged by the police with the as sault on Goodfellow, though lie passed two police stations on his way; and when lodging his complaint with Telford, he said that Goodfellow had not struck him at all. Goodfellow gave information of the assault upon him immediately after the occurrence, and Gebbie was tried on May 17, but the charge was found "not proven." Although I have no definite information on the points mentioned in the fourth paragraph, I have no reason to doubt their correctness. On May 31 a man named John Johnston, Secretary of the Tweed Fisheries Acts Repeal and Angling Law Reform League, wrote to me enclosing two affidavits. I made full inquiry into the case, and satisfied myself that there was no ground for any prosecution of Goodfellow, and informed Johnston of this decision. The counter-charge was evidently an after-thought. There was no injury done to Gebbie, although he had a trifling scratch on his neck. I do not intend to take any proceedings.

In reply to a further Question by Mr. A. L. BROWN,


said, he thought probably the Procurator Fiscal proceeded on the fact that one man had broken ribs and one man was not injured.