HC Deb 24 July 1911 vol 28 cc1491-3W

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will circulate the correspondence with the Chief Constable of Warwickshire relating to the case of Bessie Carter?


The correspondence referred to is given below. I have prefixed to it copies of telegrams which had previously passed between the Home Office and the Chief Constable of Reading:—(1) Telegram from Home Office to Chief Constable, Heading. (Despatched Thursday, 8th June, 3.45 p.m.) Secretary of State wishes to know whether there are any further warrants against Beatrice Marion Carter, undergoing sentence one month false pretences Heading prison due for discharge to-morrow. If so. please report fully the circumstances to Secretary of State before executing, as the case does not appear to be one where repeated prosecutions could be justified. UNDER-SECRETARY, Home Office. (2) Telegram from Chief Constable, Reading Police, to Home Office. (Received Thursday, 8th June, 6.20 p.m.) Hold warrant for Warwick police for Beatrice Marion Carter for false pretences: warrants issued for her at Bath, Worcester, Stroud, but were withdrawn. Also committed offences at Birmingham, Hereford, Clifton, Newport, Cardiff, and Gloucester: proceedings withheld. Please inform me by telegraph if warrant has to be executed. Carter due for discharge 7.30 a.m. Friday. CHIEF CONSTABLE. (3) Telegram from Home Office to Chief Constable, Heading Police. (Despatched Thursday, 8th June, 7.30 p.m.) As the Warwick offence appears to be one of the same series as the others, the Secretary of State would strongly deprecate the arrest of Beatrice Marion Carter on her release to-morrow. If the Warwick Police still think it necessary to prosecute, they should first report fully to Home Office, explaining their reasons. UNDER-SECRETARY, Home Office. (4) Letter from Chief Constable of Warwickshire to Home Office. Chief Constable's Office, Warwick, 12th June, 1911. Sir,— Beatrice Marion Carter. I have to request that I may be informed on what grounds the warrant for the arrest of the above-named, at the instance of the Home Office, was not executed on her release from the prison at Heading on the 8th inst. The facts are as follows:— On the 14th January, 1911. this woman obtained goods by false pretences from several tradesmen in the borough of Warwick. On the 10th May she was convicted at Reading for a similar offence and sentenced to one month in the Second Division. On the 20th of May this came to the knowledge of Superintendent Ravenshall, in charge of the Borough of Warwick, and the offence being similar to that committed in Warwick, he applied to the Chief Constable of Reading for a photograph and particulars of the woman. The shopkeepers here at once identified the photograph as that of the woman who had swindled them and a warrant was granted for her apprehension and forwarded to the Chief Constable of Reading for execution. I understand this woman has committed similar offences in many other parts of the country. No mention whatever was made of the offences committed at Warwick, when on her trial at Beading, and no steps had been taken by her or any of her friends to recompense the people she had defrauded here. I am consequently at a loss to understand the action of the Home Office in stopping the warrant, and shall be glad to hear the views of the Home Secretary before taking further action. I have the honour to be, etc., (Signed) JOHN T. BRINKLBY, Chief Constable, Under-Secretary of State,. Home Office. (5) Letter from Home Office to Chief Constable of Warwickshire. Whitehall, 20th June, 1811. Sir,— In reply to your letter of the 12th instant enquiring on what grounds the warrant obtained by the Warwick Police for the arrest of Beatrice Marion Carter on her release from His Majesty's Prison, Reading, on the 9th instant was not executed, I am directed by the Secretary of State to say that he has had the facts of the case very fully under his consideration, and that in his opinion any further prosecution of this woman for offences committed before her conviction and sentence at Heading is most undesirable. The Secretary of State has observed with surprise some of the expressions used in your letter, but has answered it on the assumption that the expressions were used accidentally and without intentional discourtesy. I am, etc, (Signed) E. BLACKWELL. The Chief Constable of Warwickshire.