§ MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether Harry Wyndham Carter, esquire, is now suffering imprisonment in Her Majesty's Convict Prison at Chatham, under a sentence passed at the Maidstone Assizes, in 1887, of five years' penal servitude; whether at his trial he was found guilty by the jury of unlawfully wounding only, under 14 & 15 Vict., c. 19, s. 5, the jury acting upon the direction of the Judge, Mr. Justice Denman, that they could either find the prisoner guilty of unlawfully, maliciously, and feloniously shooting with intent to maim, or of unlawfully shooting only, and refusing to find him guilty of unlawfully and maliciously shooting; whether an indictment preferred against him at the same Assizes for felonious shooting was, in fact, abandoned; whether, under the above circumstances, the prisoner could be lawfully sentenced under the provisions of Statutes 14 & 15 Vict., c. 19, and 24 & 25 Vict., c. 100, for anything more than a misdemeanour, punishable under Section 20 of the last-named Statute with, at most, a term of three years' penal servitude; and whether, inasmuch as the prisoner has already suffered three years and seven months of penal servitude, he will now advise Her Majesty to exercise the Royal Prerogative of mercy in favour of the prisoner's immediate release?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. STUART WORTLEY, Sheffield, Hallam)
The answer to the first two paragraphs is in the affirmative. The limit of three years' penal servitude authorised by the Act 24 & 25 Vict., c. 100, s. 20, was raised by 27 & 28 Vict, c. 47, s. 2, to a minimum of five years. I am authorised by the Secretary of State to say that he 1145 considers that the offence was an extremely bad one, and that he would not feel justified in advising any remission of the sentence.