§ MR. THORNE (West Ham, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the cases of George Woods and William Charles Huchinson, who were sentenced to penal servitude for five years by the recorder, Mr. W. Russell Griffiths, at the Bedford quarter sessions, for breaking window-panes: and if he will consider the possibility of reducing their sentences, considering the circumstances under which the offences were committed and there being no previous conviction against the men.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. GLADSTONE,) Leeds, W.
Yes, Sir. The offence was committed with great deliberation without reason or excuse, and was aggravated by misbehaviour in court. At the same time the sentences passed were too severe, and the learned Recorder, who tried the case carefully and endeavoured to bring out anything that could possibly be said in the men's favour tells me that, on reflection, he too is of that opinion. One of the men had previously served a month's imprisonment for a similar offence, but this was not known at the trial. In the circumstances I have decided to advise the reduction of the sentences to six months in the case of Hutchinson and three months in the case of Woods.