§ MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)
I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been called to a sentence of six months' imprisonment recently passed by Sheriff Substitute Taylor, Forfar, upon George Milne, labourer, for killing a hare on a public road; whether he is aware that, in consequence of Milne's imprisonment, his wife and seven children will probably become chargeable to the Parochial Board; whether he can see his way to reduce this sentence; and whether he will take steps to alter the law so that sentences for such offences may be lighter?
* THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOTIE,&c.) Clackmannan,
George Milne was sentenced, as stated in the question, to six months' imprisonment for a third offence under The Night Poaching Act. In 1887 he was sentenced to two months' imprisonment, and in 1889 to three months' imprisonment for this offence. He has been convicted of day poaching five times, and of contravention of The Poaching Prevention Act twice. He has also been convicted of breaches of the peace and assaults, as well as of various thefts, having on two occasions received six months' and nine, months' imprisonment. I am further informed that he never works, and that his house is maintained by his wife, who, while her 552 husband is in prison, has on various occasions received allowances from the Parochial Board. Two of his children now contribute to the expenses of the household from wages earned by them in a factory. From what I, have stated it will be seen that the case is not a favourable one.