MR. PHILIPPS (Lanark, Mid)
I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether it is the case that the men sentenced by Sheriff Balfour to £5 fine or 14 days' imprisonment for killing a rabbit were unable to pay the fine, and have been in prison since 12th July; and whether the Secretary for Scotland has yet been able to obtain their release?
§ * MR. J. P. B. ROBERTSON
The two men referred to failed to pay the fine imposed within the time allowed by the Sheriff. One surrendered himself on Saturday, July 12, and is now in prison, the other has not yet been found. The Secretary for Scotland has inquired into the case, and sees no reason for interfering with the sentence of the Court. The offence was not, as stated in the question, the killing one rabbit, although one rabbit was killed. The accused were found guilty of night poaching, which, by Statute, is severely punishable, not on 78 account of the game destroyed, but from serious dangers to the peace and to life which attend such night expeditions. In the case referred to the circumstances were not favourable, and some violence was used. The penalties imposed were largely within the statutory limits.