HC Deb 14 May 1891 vol 353 cc685-6
MR. NOLAN (Louth, N.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether Police Constable Webb (J. 173) entered Hague Street Boys' Board School, Bethnal Green, E., on 13th April last, and asked the assistant master, Mr. Mac Sheedy, to accompany him to the police station to see the superintendent about a statement made by the mother of a pupil, that he had slapped the latter with his hand; whether, on Mr. Mac Sheedy's arrival at the station, Sergeant Rall (J.R. 5) had him placed in the dock, and asked the mother of the boy to charge him with assault whether Mr. Mac Sheedy was detained in custody for two hours with a prisoner charged with attempted suicide; whether he was marched under police escort through the streets past his school to the Police Court, Worship Street, and imprisoned in a cell there for one hour and twenty minutes; whether, during all this time, he was denied an opportunity of communicating with his friends; whether the Magistrate, on hearing the case against him, immediately released him on his own recognisances, to appear the following day; and whether the police acted in this case in accordance with their instructions; and, if not, why they departed from them in their treatment of Mr. Mac Sheedy?


The Commissioner of Police reports that the constable went to the school in question with the mother of the boy, who had expressed her intention of prosecuting the schoolmaster for assault. The constable asked the accused if he would come to the station. The schoolmaster consented to do so. On his arrival, as the mother adhered to her intention to prosecute, he was placed in the dock, and the charge read over to him. He then asked that his keys might be taken back to the school, and the authorities informed. While this was being done, he was detained in the Reserve Room for 20 minutes. A convalescent from the hospital, who had a fortnight previously attempted to commit suicide, was under detention at the same time. The constable then walked with the accused to the Police Court by the direct route, which passes the top of Hague Street. He was there detained in the waiting room for about an hour. He was not denied the opportunity of communicating with his friends. The Magistrate, after hearing the evidence, adjourned the case till the following day to enable the accused to call witnesses, releasing him meanwhile on his own recognisances. The following day the defendant was fined 40s. and costs for the assault. The police acted on no special instructions, but followed a practice not unusual when the defendant consents.