HC Deb 20 August 1894 vol 29 c15
MR. PAUL (Edinburgh, S.)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether it is within his knowledge that there exists in the burgh of Ayr a practice on the part of the Procurator Fiscal, in connection with prosecutions arising out of the Dog-Muzzling Order now in force there, after service of a summons, and before the hearing of the case in open Court, of writing a letter to the accused informing him, or her, that it will not be necessary to attend the Court if a certain sum of money is previously sent him, and then, on payment of such sum being made, accepting it for penalty and expenses, and dropping the case, but refusing an account of the money; whether the practice referred to is a recognised one; and, if not, whether it will be discontinued; and whether he will call for an account of the money so exacted and its application?

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

Upon inquiry I find that the statement in the first paragraph of the question is substantially correct, and that more than one case of the kind has recently accurred. The practice appears to require explanation, and I am informed that in at least one other place where, the Muzzling Order is in force, a fine of 2s. 6d. is the penalty imposed, and no expenses are charged. I propose to bring the matter under the notice of the Provost of Ayr, and to ask him whether an account of the money paid in name of expenses, and of its application since the Muzzling Order came into operation, can be supplied.