HC Deb 01 May 1890 vol 343 c1816

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been called to the case of a boy named Robert Hood, an apprentice printer in Ayr, who was recently apprehended on a charge of assault, was marched through the public streets, handcuffed between two policemen, to Ayr Prison, and, on arrival there, was stripped of his own clothes, forced into a cold bath, compelled to assume the prison garb, given oakum to pick, and eventually was brought before the Sheriff to emit his declaration clad in the prison dress; and whether it is consistent with the regulations of Her Majesty's Prisons that an untried, unconvicted prisoner, who may be proved innocent of the charge against him, should be subjected to such treatment?


The facts of this case are materially different from those indicated in the question. There being reasonable ground for apprehending an escape, the constables secured the wrists of the accused, but not with handcuff's. When Hood came to the prison he was supplied with a warm bath and clean clothes, which are set apart for untried prisoners, and he availed himself of these. He was told that he might either work or not as he liked, but that if he chose to work he would be credited with marks, which meant money on going out, and he preferred working. When he went before the Sheriff he did so in the clean clothes, going and returning by a private passage. He was in the prison for only five hours. His treatment while in prison was consistent with the regulations.