HC Deb 17 February 1908 vol 184 cc446-7

I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has been called to the case of Alexander Noble, 84, Shamrock Street, Glasgow, who was sentenced on 5th December last by Sheriff Boyd to twelve months imprisonment with hard labour for simple assault; whether he is aware that twelve of the jury have written expressing extreme surprise and regret at the severity of the sentence; and, whether, in the circumstances, he can see his way to liberate the man.


My attention was called to this case recently and after full investigation of the circumstances directions were given to reduce the period of imprisonment to six months. Offences of this land have been unduly prevalent in certain districts, and a sentence of some severity was deemed necessary.


Is the Secretary for Scotland aware that this man was charged with attempt to rob, that the jury found him not guilty of that charge and that had this charge not been instituted the maximum penalty would have been sixty days, as he would have been tried in another Court?


I can only assure the hon. Member that I have inquired very carefully into the circumstances of this case, and I believe the decision I have arrived at meets the necessities of it.