HC Deb 03 August 1891 vol 356 cc1122-3
MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that William Barker, William Deacon, and George Lambert were convicted at the Thames Police Court, on the 16th of June, for assault, ill connection with, a trade dispute, and sentenced by Mr. Mead to two months' hard labour each; and that, on appeal, at the Clerkenwell Sessions, on the 31st July, without any evidence being called upon for the defence, the I conviction against the two first named was quashed, and the men liberated; whether, under these circumstances, he will inquire into the case, with a view to a reduction of the sentence in the case of George Lambert; whether he is aware that, on the day on which the original warrant was issued (15th June), a Mr. Donovan, a friend of the prisoners, applied to see them, in order to procure witnesses for the defence in view of the trial next day, and was refused admittance; that, in spite of the fact that notice of appeal was given against the sentences, and bail offered, the prisoners were sent to prison, and only liberated the following day; and that, on liberation, these working men (two of them innocent as was subsequently shown) were charged a fee of 2s. 6d. each in connection with their bail; and whether he will inquire into all the circumstances of the case?


Yes, Sir. The facts are as stated in the first paragraph. The conviction in the case of Barker and Deacon was quashed on the ground that they committed no actual assault, but the Court held that the assault by Lambert was proved. If any facts are brought to my notice in extenuation of Lambert's offence I will give them my careful attention. I am informed by the Prison Authorities that these men were not received into custody until the 23rd of June, and they have no knowledge of any application made by Mr. Donovan. The Magistrate also informs me that the application was not made at his Court, and that, when the prisoners were remanded on bail, the statutory recognizance fee of 2s. 6d. was demanded and paid. The men were liberated as soon as the recognizances were entered into, which was the earliest moment that they could in law be released.

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