HC Deb 16 June 1921 vol 143 cc617-8W

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the suicide of a boy prisoner of 16 years of age in Winchester Prison, and to the recorded opinion of Governor Harding regarding the bad habit of having a long interval between commitment and trial; and whether he will take steps to amend the law in this respect?


Yes, Sir. My attention has been called to the case. The long interval which sometimes occurs between commitment and trial arises from the fact that County Quarter Sessions are, as a rule, held only once in three months, and where the number of prisoners to be tried is small, it would not be possible to insist on their being held more frequently. But the magistrates have power to release on bail prisoners waiting trial, and I do not understand why that was not done in this case. I will inquire into the matter.

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