HC Deb 08 November 1971 vol 825 cc640-1
32. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Attorney-General whether he has now been able to complete his investigations into the case of the withdrawal of a drink and driving charge against Mr. Paul Raymond, details as supplied to him by the hon. Member for West Ham, North, on Thursday, 28th October; and when the hon. Member may expect his promised letter of explanation.

The Attorney-General:

The hon. Member first asked about this case on 28th October. I wrote to him on 29th October, giving him details of the case. He wrote to me again on 30th October, and I replied to him on 3rd November.

Mr. Lewis:

I thank the Attorney- General for the expeditious way in which he replied and for the manner in which he has dealt with this matter. However, the reply which he has given is not at all satisfactory.

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the magistrate is quoted in the Daily Telegraph as having said in the court that he wanted to know why he was instructed to have the case withdrawn and that he was told that he could not be given the reason because it would be rather distressing to Mr. Paul Raymond? Is it not terrible that we keep finding cases in which magistrates are told by someone or other that they should not proceed, that the case should be dropped, or, as in this case, that, because it was thought that it would not succeed, they should not go ahead with it? Will he look into this a bit further?

The Attorney-General:

I think that the hon. Gentleman is not quite understanding the position. The police solicitor formed the view that there was insufficient evidence and that there would not be a conviction on the charge on which Mr. Raymond stood. The reason for Mr. Raymond's driving at that time was not given because the view was taken by the police solicitor that to give publicity to that reason would hamper police inquiries into very serious incidents which had been happening at the home of the wife of Mr. Raymond.