HC Deb 23 May 1895 vol 34 cc78-9

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been called to the fact that the Procurator Fiscal of Inverary refuses to return to Mr. James Findlay a watch of which he was robbed on the 5th of August 1891 at Tarbert, and for the theft of which the thief (who had in the meantime pawned the watch and sold the ticket) was in September of the same year sentenced to two months' imprisonment, notwithstanding the fact that security has been offered by the owner in view of any claim that may arise against him; whether anything has been done in the matter since the 7th of August 1893, when he said he was taking steps which he hoped would result in Mr. Findlay obtaining possession of the watch without delay; and whether he will take further steps to ensure the return to its owner of the watch, which has now been detained by the Procurator Fiscal for over three and three-quarter years?

*THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOUR, Clackmannan and Kinross)

I have again caused inquiry to be made into this matter, and am informed that, in addition to Mr. Findlay, there are two other claimants to the watch in question. Mr. Findlay has not offered to secure the Procurator Fiscal against liability in a manner which the Fiscal regards as placing him in a safe position. If he gives such security, or obtains an Order for its delivery from a Court, the Procurator Fiscal will hand over the watch to him. He has been advised that he cannot safely part with the watch until the owner has established his right to it in a Court of law. This might be done by a very simple and inexpensive process, and until Mr. Findlay adopts this course, I cannot say that the Procurator Fiscal is bound to deliver the watch to him.