HC Deb 10 December 1912 vol 45 cc259-60

asked the Home Secretary whether he has received a communication from Engine-driver Knox, employed by the North-Eastern Railway Company, asking for a reconsideration of the decision of the magistrates in the case in which he was fined 5s. and costs for drunkenness on 5th November; and having regard to the fact that Knox firmly asserts his innocence, and the conflict of evidence given at the hearing, and also that Knox was not aware that his employers would take any action in consequence of the fine until after the period for appeal had elapsed, and in view of the serious effect of the punishment to Knox, he will consider whether he can make inquiry with a view to determining whether the circumstances justify an exercise of the prerogative of mercy?


Yes, I have received an application from Knox, and in view of the representations referred to in the question I am making inquiries into the matter without delay.


Will that inquiry extend to the conduct of the police, against whom serious allegations are brought?


No; that is not part of my functions. In this, as in every other case, when a prisoner alleges that he has been wrongly punished, it is my duty to inquire whether there is any ground for the allegation. I shall have to examine to see whether the charge was properly brought and the prisoner properly convicted.