HC Deb 28 January 1897 vol 45 cc664-5
MR. H. SETON-KARR (St. Helens)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) in view of the following facts, namely, that one Hugh Beattie was, on 17th November, 1896, convicted at Liverpool Assizes of breaking and entering a dwelling-house at Rainhill on 8th August, 1895, and sentenced to five years' penal servitude, and that one John Brady was previously convicted and sentenced for the same offence, and that there are now two prisoners suffering punishment for the offence of which, on the evidence of the prosecution in Brady's case, only one can possibly be guilty, whether he proposes to take any, and what, steps in the matter; and (2) whether it is the fact that John Brady was convicted on the uncorroborated testimony of a single witness, and that Beattie, who subsequently pleaded guilty to the same offence, swore on his oath that Brady-was not concerned in the robbery, and that he, Beattie, committed it alone and and unassisted.


The statement of facts in the first paragraph of the Question is not quite complete. It should be added that Beattie pleaded guilty at the same time to six other indictments as well as the one referred to. As regards the second paragraph, it is not the fact that Brady was convicted on the uncorroborated testimony of one witness, other facts being proved at the trial which, in the opinion of the learned Judge, strongly confirmed the witness in question. After making most careful inquiries into the case, and consulting the Judge—who finds nothing in what has occurred subsequently to the trial to make him doubt that the prisoner Brady was properly convicted—I have come to the conclusion that there is no ground for any interference on my part.