HC Deb 09 February 1938 vol 331 cc1059-60W
Mr. McGovern

asked the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been drawn to the case of a boy of 16 years of age who appeared before Baillie Mclnness at Southern Police Court on Monday, 31st January, charged with stealing an orange; that he had been held in custody over the week-end; and whether some method can be devised whereby persons charged with trivial offences can be liberated after being cautioned or dealt with at a night court?

Mr. Elliot

No boy of 16 appeared before the Southern Police Court, Glasgow, on Monday, the 31st January, on a complaint of the theft of an orange. It may be that the hon. Member is referring to the case of Thomas Gallacher, aged 34, who was arrested on the night of Saturday, the 29th January, on a similar complaint. The accused, who was under the influence of drink, had no fixed abode, and could give the name of no friends or relations, and as he was destitute and unable to find even nominal bail, it was decided to keep him in custody pending further inquiry. He was brought before a Magistrate on the Monday morning, when he pled "not guilty" and was then liberated without bail. On 4th February, he was found "guilty" and sentence was deferred for six months. In the circumstances, the detention of the accused could not, I think, have been obviated by any practicable system of night courts.