§ MR. KNOX
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the case of Patrick Diver, who was convicted at Letterkenny Quarter Sessions before Judge Webb by a jury, one of whom was not the person summoned, but personated that person, and that on the personation being afterwards discovered Judge Webb stated that it was a bad conviction, but that the matter had passed out of his hands and must be dealt with by the executive; whether he is aware that the jury had agreed to recommend the prisoner to mercy, but through a blunder this recommendation was not conveyed to the judge; and whether, under the circumstances, Diver will be released?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
My attention has been directed to the proceedings at the trial of Patrick Diver at the recent Letterkenny Quarter Sessions, on which occasion one of the jurors summoned to hear the case was personated by his brother. I have no information that Judge Webb stated that the conviction was a bad one, or that the facts are as alleged in the second paragraph; but I am aware that the learned judge states that no recommendation of the jury, even if made, would have induced him to pass a lighter sentence on the prisoner than that passed. The Lord Lieutenant, having fully considered the matter, has been advised that the conviction is legal, and that the law should take its course, and has further decided that there are no mitigatory circumstances in the case which would render the prisoner a proper subject for mercy.