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Convict Conmy (Disciplinary Sentence)

Volume 155: debated on Thursday 29 June 1922

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20.

asked the Home Secretary whether Arthur Conmy, who escaped from Parkhurst Prison, has been punished by being put into an iron belt and fetters connected with 6-lb. chains; whether this punishment is to continue for six months; and, if so, whether he will take steps to have this punishment mitigated?

22.

asked the Home Secretary whether a prisoner who recently escaped from Ryde Prison and was recaptured has been sentenced to confinement in chains; if so, for how long; what is the weight of the chains; who passed this sentence upon him and who confirmed it; whether he has approved of this sentence; and how many other prisoners are at present undergoing this punishment?

I would refer to the answer I gave yesterday to the hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme. The chains have been removed.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether, in addition to the change in this particular, he will take steps to see that the whole system which imposes such punishment shall be abolished?

I said yesterday that the question of its abolition is under consideration.

Am I right in understanding that usually a person who escapes in that way is flogged, and that in this case chains were placed upon the man in lieu of flogging him.? Am I to understand that if chains are not to be used in future we are to return to flogging?

No. I am not quite sure whether it is possible to flog for trying to escape. In any case it would not be a substitute for chains.

Will the right hon. Gentleman substitute some other penalty for attempting to escape than that of putting the person in chains?