HC Deb 08 July 1958 vol 591 cc190-1
34. Sir D. Robertson

asked the Lord Advocate why the charge against Police Constables Gunn and Harper for assaulting and injuring John Waters, aged 15 years, was not proceeded with after the Procurator Fiscal, Wick, reported the case to the Lord Advocate for instruction of Crown counsel; if he has considered the seventeen written statements made by witnesses and forwarded to him by the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland together with the statement made by Dr. Fell who treated the boy on the night of the assault and on two subsequent occasions; and if he will now give immediate instructions to have the case put down for trial.

The Lord Advocate (Mr. W. R. Milligan)

Crown Counsel did not order proceedings in the case to which my hon. Friend refers because in their view the evidence did not justify proceedings being taken. I have carefully considered the written statements submitted by my hon. Friend and have made further inquiry into the case.

I regret, however, that owing to the illness of one of the witnesses whom it is necessary to see in the light of my hon. Friend's representations I have not yet been able to complete these inquiries.

Sir D. Robertson

Why should this trial be still further delayed? The offence is alleged to have been committed seven months ago and this witness can throw no light on the actual assault, whereas the seventeen witnesses were with the boy either immediately before or immediately after he came out of the alley after being beaten up by the police.

The Lord Advocate

I disagree entirely with my hon. Friend that the witness, who is unfortunately ill, can throw no light on the situation which admittedly occurred some time ago. I think it would be inappropriate at this stage to say anything further.