HC Deb 04 December 1893 vol 19 cc353-4

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been called to the case of Alexander Mitchell, carter, near Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, who was charged with three petty offences committed on 19th October; is he aware that Mitchell appeared at Peterhead, the nearest and regular place of jurisdiction, to answer two of these charges; whilst on the third charge, that of allowing his dog to be at large, he was cited on 8th November, to his great cost and inconvenience, to the Justice of Peace Court at Aberdeen, more than twice as far distant from the place where the offence was committed than Peter-head; is he aware that Mitchell pleaded guilty to the charge and had to pay the sum of 25s., of which no less than 21s. 6d. was for expenses, and that his complaint at being cited to Aberdeen was supported by one of the Justices; who was responsible for this expense imposed on him, and what remedy can he obtain; and whether the Lord Advocate will take such steps as will render it impossible for such a case to occur again?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOUR, Clackmannan, &c.)

The facts of this case are accurately stated in the question; but it was not known until mentioned by Mitchell in Court at Aberdeen that he had been previously tried at Peterhead for other offences committed on the same day, and I am told that in respect of that statement the Justices modified the penalty. The expenses are fixed by Statute, and would have been . the same at Peterhead. I am glad to be able to say that arrangements have now been made by which Justice of the Peace prosecutions for offences committed in the neighbourhood of Peterhead may be tried there instead of at Aberdeen.