HC Deb 14 June 1945 vol 411 cc1826-7W
Mr. Wootton-Davies

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that, in a recent court martial at Malta, a Marine was sentenced to death for murder; whether, in view of the fact that there is medical evidence to show that the man was and is an epileptic, he will give an assurance that this will be taken into full account when the sentence is reviewed; and whether he is satisfied with the present arrangements for receiving medical evidence in court martial cases.

Mr. J. P. L. Thomas

Yes, Sir. The proceedings at the court martial referred to are at present being carefully reviewed by the Admiralty, and full account will be taken of the evidence as to the accused's epileptic condition and alleged mental state at the time when the offence was committed. Medical evidence is received in trials by Naval courts martial under exactly the same rules as those which are applicable to trials before the ordinary criminal courts, and I am satisfied that fully adequate arrangements exist for such evidence being given in appropriate cases. In the case to which the hon. Member refers, there was abundant expert medical evidence.