HC Deb 21 April 1890 vol 343 cc978-9

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if any compensation is to be made to the four men who were falsely imprisoned on perjured evidence for a supposed theft on a public-house in Whitechapel; whether, now that they have been released, the conduct of Sergeant Adams in reference to the case has been inquired into; and, if not, can he explain on what grounds?


No, Sir; it is not the intention of the Government to offer compensation to these four men. In the case of two of them, the punishment has bean remitted, not because their innocence has been established, but because their identification seemed open to doubt. With regard to Hyde and Whaley, the Government cannot be held responsible for their wrongful conviction. It was due, in the first place, to the perjury of a witness, who has since been prosecuted at the instance of the Government and convicted; and, in the second place, to their own conduct, and to their failure to produce the evidence which the Public Prosecutor has since brought forward and by which the perjury was established. Full inquiry has been made into the conduct of Sergeant Adams. Inasmuch as he destroyed after the trial certain notes, he is hold by the Chief Commissioner to have acted imprudently, and to be deserving of censure; but in other respects I am satisfied that he acted without mala fides, and in the manner which he thought best under the circumstances.