asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that, after serving in Stafford gaol a sentence of one week's imprisonment in the third division, passed upon her on 23rd May last, for refusing to pay a dog licence as a protest against her political disfranchisement, Mrs. Sprossen was, on 20th June, tried a second time for the same offence and sentenced to one month's imprisonment in the first division; and whether he can see his way to take steps to avoid in future the infliction of two sentences for one offence?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The offence of which. Mrs. Sprossen was convicted on 20th June was not the same as that of which she was convicted on 23rd May. It is an offence against the law to keep a dog without a licence, and after her conviction on 23rd May Mrs. Sprossen continued deliberately to break the law. In both cases the punishment was a fine, which she was well able to pay if she had wished. I may add that the dog she kept was a dangerous one that had bitten three children, and that, in spite of a friendly warning from a neighbour whose little girl had been bitten by it, she allowed it to run at large. As the law stands, no person can be punished twice for the same offence, but where an offence is repeated the penalty is usually increased, and in this particular case the law itself imposes an increased penalty for the second offence.