HC Deb 05 August 1913 vol 56 cc1243-4

asked whether, in the prosecution of Miss Queenie Gerald at the London Sessions, on the 10th instant, the Crown accepted the plea of guilty on the charge of keeping a disorderly house, and did not proceed with a more serious charge?


had given notice of the following question: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will state under what Acts, and in respect of what offences, Queenie Gerald was charged at the London Sessions on the 10th July; what is the maximum penalty which can be imposed in respect of each of such offences; upon which charge was she found guilty; what was her punishment; whether any and which charges were withdrawn; and, if so, for what reason?


The indictment included three counts under Section 7 (4) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1912, for exercising control for the purpose of gain over the movements of three prostitutes, and three counts under Section 1 of the Vagrancy Act, 1898, and Section 7 (4) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1912, for living in part on the immoral earnings of the same three prostitutes. The maximum penalty for each of these offences is two years' imprisonment. There was also a count for keeping a disorderly house—an offence under the common law punishable with fine and imprisonment. The Crown proceeded with all the charges, none were withdrawn, and the prisoner pleaded guilty to all counts of the indictment. The Deputy-Chairman informs me that in the absence of any evidence of procuration in the ordinary sense, the girls who were the principal witnesses having admittedly been prostitutes before they came under the prisoner's influence, he felt that he would not be justified in passing a more severe sentence than three months' imprisonment in the second division, coupled with an order to pay the costs of the prosecution. In view of the statements made in the Press, I think it necessary to add that no communication was made to the Deputy-Chairman by or on behalf of the Home Office or the police bearing upon this case. The case was opened and pressed as a bad one, and there was no suppression or withdrawal of evidence by the police throughout the proceedings.


Why were the names of people suppressed?


I can only say that there was no suppression of names. It is quite true that there were certain names in a diary which was found on the premises, but the mention of those names would not and could not have been relevant to the charge. I would like perhaps to add, so far as I am concerned, as a charge has been made against me personally, that I was not aware of any of the names until after the trial was over.