HC Deb 25 March 1892 vol 2 c1811

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his attention has been directed to a sentence of 14 days' hard labour passed by the Wareham Magistrates on a man called Barney for stealing snowdrops valued at 1s.; and if he will inquire whether the punishment might be reduced?


I have received a report concerning this case. The defendant, who was not an inhabitant of the district and against whom a fine would not have been recoverable, was convicted of pulling up roots and flowers to the amount of half-a-bushel in an ornamental pleasure ground, enclosed by a high iron fence, with notice-boards warning trespassers affixed to it. I am informed that there have recently been many complaints by farmers and others in the neighbourhood of such acts of pilfering from gardens and allotments, for the purpose of selling the flowers and roots at Bournemouth, and that there had been numerous similar depredations at the place in question. I am not prepared to interfere with the discretion of the Magistrates.