§ MR. SEYMOUR KEAY
I beg to ask the Lord Advocate, with reference to the case of the son of a crofter, who, on 29th March, pleaded guilty to a charge of night poaching before the Sheriff Substitute at Nairn, is he aware that the accused's father is 72 years of age, and very frail, and that his son now in prison is, in point of fact, his sole support, and that the whole district had been covered with snow, accompanied by a severe frost, for more than two months when the offence was committed; also, that the previous charge made against the accused of poaching took place about 20 years ago; is he aware that when the accused was first charged with the present offence at Nairn on 26th March, he pleaded not guilty, that he was then sent to Inverness Prison for three days, and that he pleaded guilty when again brought up at Nairn on the 29th, in consequence of messages received through his brother from the Procurator Fiscal, stating that, if he did not do so, an additional charge—namely, of assault, would be preferred against him, whereby his punishment would be increased; is he aware that the Judge stated from the Bench that the law gave him no option to pass any sentence on the accused other than imprisonment, and to find caution; and whether he will make further inquiry, and, if the above statements are substantiated, take any steps which may be open to him for a revision of the sentence?
§ * SIR C. J. PEARSON
It does not rest with me to revise the sentence; but if the hon. Member will be good enough to communicate to me the information in his possession and the source of it, I will gladly consider whether it is a case for further inquiry.