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Provisions Supplementary To S1

Volume 972: debated on Thursday 25 October 1979

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I beg to move amendment No. 6, in page 2, line 31 after 'Kingdom', insert

('being the accused's normal place of residence or such other place as the court may, on cause shown, direct)'.
The amendment makes an alteration in the provisions of clause 2 as to what address shall be given by an accused person. For a long time, many people have rightly regarded it as wrong that an accused person could hide under the anonymity of an address that merely said "Care of the sheriff clerk's office". That resulted sometimes in persons who were not accused being confused with a person of the same name who was an accused person. While neither the victim nor the witnesses had the benefit of such anonymity, the accused did.

The matter was canvassed in Committee and the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. Wilson) tabled an amendment then and for the Report stage that would have had the effect of excluding the sheriff clerk's office but would not have excluded an address that gave the same anonymity. The hon. Gentleman is unable to be here tonight, but he has spoken to me and has agreed that the Government amendment covers the purpose of his amendment and does so more effectively.

If someone had grassed on others and it was desirable that his address should not be known or if a person did not live in this country or have a normal place of residence here, that could be explained to the court and such a person would be permitted to give an address other than his normal place of residence. The amendment is a great improvement on the present situation and I commend it to the House.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made: No. 7, in page 3, line I, leave out subsection (4).—[ The Solicitor-General for Scotland.]