HC Deb 29 March 1889 vol 334 cc1152-3
MR. CALDWELL (Glasgow, St. Rollox)

asked the Lord Advocate whether it was the case that in action, Matheson against Cormack, presently pending in the Sheriff Court of Caithness, at Wick, for damages for serious personal injuries sustained in connection with an alleged assault by the defender Cormack upon the pursuer Matheson, the Procurator Fiscal for the County of Caithness is acting as private agent for the defender Cormack; whether the alleged assault was, or still may be, the subject of investigation by the Procurator Fiscal; whether the Procurator Fiscal has obtained the usual precognitions for the Crown in such cases; and whether he will advise the Procurator Fiscal to abstain from acting in defence of a private party sued for damages in defence of an alleged criminal assault which has been, or may be, the subject of investigation or trial on behalf of the Crown, especially where, as in this case, the Procurator Fiscal is in the possession and knowledge of the precognitions taken on behalf of the Crown?


On 17th December information was lodged by Matheson of an alleged assault by Cormack. The Procurator Fiscal precognosced the three persons named by Matheson and found that the complaint was groundless. More than two months after Mr. Leith was professionally employed in the action mentioned in the question. As Mr. Leith is not precluded by the terms of his appointment from engaging in private practice, his conduct does not appear to me to be open to observation.


I beg to give notice that I will call attention to the subject on the Estimates.