§ MR. S. SMITH
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the case of Luke Cunningham, who was charged on Saturday at the Preston Police Court with a series of brutal assaults upon Bridget Connor, aged 13 years; whether he is aware that it was proved that he threw a poker at her, and it struck her on the forehead, causing a painful wound; that he fastened a strap round the girl's neck, and hung her up in the kitchen for several minutes 1684 to a nail in the ceiling; and that the prisoner was sent to gaol for three calendar months, with hard labour; and whether he will inquire of the Police Magistrate what were the reasons which led him to inflict so short a term of imprisonment for such an offence?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
I am informed by the Justices that Luke Cunningham was charged on Saturday at the Preston Police Court not with a series of assaults upon the girl Bridget Connor, but with one assault on the 14th inst., namely, having thrown a poker at the girl, aud struck her near the left eye, cansing, according to the evidence of the doctor, a small bruise and a contused wound of a superficial nature. No other charge than that of the 14th inst. was preferred by the girl, who was represented by a solicitor. In answer to inquiries of the Justices, the solicitor stated that about a week before Cunningham had put a strap round the girl's neck, and hung her to the ceiling. There were no marks on the girl's neck, and her mother stated that Cunningham only kept her up for a minute, and did it to frighten the girl for stopping out late at night. The mother also stated that Cunningham had been a good father to the children, that he had not intended to hit the girl with the poker, and that he was the worse for drink at the time. The Justices, who were unanimous in their decision, thought the ends of justice would be met by the sentence passed by them for the assault on the 14th inst.