HC Deb 23 November 1938 vol 341 cc1784-5W
Mr. Leach

asked the Attorney-General whether his attention has been drawn to a motoring fatality at Winnersh, near Reading, in which Mr. and Mrs. Westall, riding a tandem bicycle properly equipped with white celluloid rear mudguard and red rear lamp, were both killed by an overtaking motor car, the body of Mr. Westall being thrown 50 feet, and the jury returning a verdict of criminal negligence against the motorist; and why at the subsequent Berkshire Assizes the Director of Public Prosecutions offered no evidence, with the consequence that the motorist was discharged?

The Attorney-General

I have made inquiries as to this case. Whatever may be the verdict of a coroner's jury, it is the duty of the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider the available evidence and decide whether or not that evidence is sufficient to justify submitting the charge to the jury. The evidence in the present case was carefully considered and it was decided that it did not justify proceeding with the charge. I understand that the learned judge approved this course.