HC Deb 21 June 1927 vol 207 cc1656-7

asked the Lord Advocate if he is aware that a complaint was lodged with the procurator fiscal at Haddington against Thomas Gifford, junior, farmer, Ormiston, Haddingtonshire, for assault on John Hair, one of his employés, on 13th December, 1926; that the procurator fiscal declined to take proceedings on the ground of insufficient evidence; that five witnesses of the assault were available; that the local medical practitioner and a local business man were prepared to give evidence as to the physical condition of Hair after the assault; that damages for the assault were claimed in the Haddington Sheriff Court; that Gifford admitted the assault; and that damages were awarded to Hair in the civil action; and whether he will instruct the procurator fiscal now to take proceedings?

The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. W. Watson)

The answer to the first and second parts of the hon. Member's question is in the affirmative, and it is the case that evidence was available as to the physical condition of Hair. It is not the case that five witnesses to the assault were available. Several persons present at the time the assault was alleged to have been committed denied having seen any assault. A small debt action for damages was raised by Hair, but no decree was pronounced in it, the matter being settled extrajudicially by a small payment to Hair. In the circumstances I see no reason to differ from the view taken at the time by the procurator fiscal, and I do not feel justified in reopening the question.


Owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment.