HC Deb 01 March 1910 vol 14 cc747-8

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he was aware that certain of the visiting justices of the Strangeways Prison, Manchester, were recently convicted for an assault upon a woman prisoner; and could he say what action had been taken to remove these men from their positions as visiting justices and as magistrates.


I am not aware of any proceedings of the nature indicated by the hon. Member. A prisoner discharged last year from His Majesty's prison at Manchester did, however, institute an action for damages against certain of the visiting justices. It was held by the court that a technical assault had been committed on the prisoner, but that, the justices having acted in good faith and on reasonable grounds, and no substantial injury having been done to the prisoner, the damages should be merely nominal. The proceedings afford no ground for action on my part, and, further, the selection of justices for appointment on the visiting committee for a prison is not a matter over which I have any control.