§ 20. Mr. CHARLES DUNCAN
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that in a case tried in Dublin recently against a man named Thomas Madden, for criminal assault on a child of seven years of age, the prisoner was remanded to the quarter sessions, but subsequently was released, the Crown having entered a nolle prosequi on the ground that the child was too young to testify; whether he is aware that at the same sessions a man was convicted for a criminal assault on a child aged six years; whether he can state the reason for this differential treatment; and whether the fact that the child in the first case was the daughter of a workman, whereas in the second case the father was an employer, had any influence in the matter?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
In the first case to which the hon. Member refers the statement of the child, who was not quite seven years of age, was uncorroborated, and on the medical evidence counsel for the Crown did not consider it safe to proceed with the case further. In the second case the evidence against the accused person was clear and conclusive, the sworn testimony of the child, who was eight years of age, being corroborated by an eye witness of the occurrence. There is no foundation for the statement in the last part of the question.