§ MR. LEAKE (Lancashire, S.E., Radcliffe)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the case of Mary Flannagan, who was sentenced on the 1st inst. at the Salford Hundred Quarter Sessions to seven years' penal servitude and seven years' police supervision for stealing one shilling; and whether he will take into his consideration 779 the expediency and justice of mitigating such a severe sentence, although Flannagan is an old offender?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
Yes, Sir; I have inquired into the case. The woman is a confirmed criminal, and the numerous sentences, including one of penal servitude, that have been passed upon her for theft in the last 20 years do not seem to have had any effect, and her past career quite explains the sentence passed by the learned Judge. I think, however, that the present offence, which is not a very serious one, might have been adequately punished by a lighter sentence, and I propose to advise the commutation of the sentence of penal servitude to one of 12 months' imprisonment with hard labour.