HC Deb 27 October 1919 vol 120 cc312-3W

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the case of George Milham, twelve years of age, who, on the 21st. instant, was sentenced at Willesden Police Court to five years' detention in a reformatory, on a charge of robbing a gas meter; whether the Police Court missionary gave the boy an irreproachable character, stating that he was invaluable in keeping his home together; and, if so, what action he proposes to take in the matter?

Lieut.-Colonel THORNE

asked the Home Secretary if he is aware that on Tuesday last, at the Willesden Police Court, a child of twelve, named George Milham, was sent to a reformatory for five years for robbing a gas meter; if he is aware that the Police Court missionary gave the boy the best of characters; if he is aware that the boy had been invaluble at home by doing all the household work and looking after younger children of the family; and if he will take action in the matter?


I have made inquiry from which it appears that the facts have not been fully reported in the Press. The boy referred to, who is nearly thirteen, and has a bad school record, was convicted in January last with his elder brother of stealing from a gas meter, and he was then ordered four strokes of the birch, and the elder brother was sent to a reformatory school. In June the boy, George, was again before the Court for being beyond the control of his parents, and he was placed by the magistrates on probation for a year. In the following month he was again caught stealing from a gas meter, and he was sent to a place of detention for fourteen days. On the 21st October, the boy was convicted for a third time stealing from a gas meter and the magistrates decided to send him to a reformatory school. I understand that the Police Court missionary, who has taken a great interest in the lad, came to the conclusion that it would greatly benefit him to be removed from his present surroundings. In all the circumstances I regret that I can find no sufficient reason for interfering with the decision of the Court.

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