§ MR. GODDARD (Ipswich)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the case of Harry Quantrill, who was sentenced by the Samford magistrates to one month's imprisonment without the option of a fine for night poaching and killing pheasants in close time; and whether, in consideration of this being a first offence, and of Quantrill having hitherto a good character, he will take steps to mitigate the sentence; and whether he will bring in a Bill to reduce the penalties for first offences of this kind.
§ *MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
My attention has been called to this case. I have made inquiry into the circumstances and have communicated with the magistrates. I regret, however, that after careful consideration I am unable to advise His Majesty to grant any mitigation of the sentence. With regard to the last paragraph of the Question, Section 4 of the Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1879, gives magistrates complete discretion to substitute a fine for imprisonment, or to reduce the amount of the prescribed penalty in any case with which they may have to deal; and no further legislation on the subject appears to me to be necessary.