HC Deb 30 May 1912 vol 38 c1569

asked the Home Secretary whether he has received any application for the remittance of a fine of 5s. imposed by a bench of magistrates in North Beds upon a Sharnbrook teacher for trespass and damage, by whom the application was made, and, if so, with what result, and on what grounds; whether life attention has been drawn by the same person or persons to the two cases in East Northants, tried before a bench of magistrates at Welling-borough, on 4th April, 1912, in the first of which a youth aged sixteen was fined 15s. for stealing part of a dead fence value Is., the property of Mr. C. J. K. Woolston, and in the second case two little Welling-borough scholars, aged twelve and ten respectively, were, fined 7s. 6d. each for stealing part of a live and dead fence, value 2s., the property of the same gentleman; and whether he proposes to advise the remittance of the fines in these cases; if not, why not, and, if so, on what grounds?


My attention was called by two Members of this House to the case mentioned in the first paragraph, and, after consulting the magistrates who heard the case, I was satisfied that the fine imposed might properly be remitted. Though the person charged had committed an offence against the law by picking willow-twigs that grew on private property, the offence seemed to me of so trivial a character as not to justify the infliction of a fine. I have not heard of, nor had any application in respect to the case referred to in the second paragraph. With regard to the case mentioned in the third paragraph, I would refer to the answer given in this House on the 29th ult. It was of a different character altogether from the Sharnbrook case, and afforded no ground for intervention on my part.

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