5 December 1888
The Earl of Meath asked Her Majesty's Government whether their attention had been called to statements in the Press that the Lambeth Board of Guardians had reinstated as receiving wardsman at the Lambeth Workhouse a man who was sentenced in June last to a month's imprisonment for assaulting an inmate; and whether they approved of the conduct of the guardians in so soon reinstating in a position of authority a man found guilty of an offence against those placed under his charge.
Lord Knutsford stated that it was a fact that this receiving wardsman had been convicted by a police magistrate of an aggravated assault on an inmate, and committed to prison for a month. A committee had been appointed by the guardians to consider the case. They had heard several witnesses, and had come to the conclusion that the assault was committed in self defence, and under great provocation, and that if the facts had been fully before the magistrate or the conviction had been appealed against, the man would have been dealt with leniently and suitably. The man had served his country with credit and had led an irreproachable life, and therefore the committee recommended that on the expiration of the sentence he should be allowed to resume his duty. This recommendation was adopted. The Local Government Board thought that the man should not have been reinstated. If there had been any grounds for setting aside the decision of the magistrate an appeal could have been made. The Board had therefore requested the guardians to call upon the man to resign.
Ephraim Thorn, 44, provision merchant, of 27 Cable street, Whitechapel, was charged with attempting to commit suicide. Mr. G.H. Young defended. Richard H. Chapman, station master at Leman street railway station on the Great eastern railway, said that at 10.30 on Friday morning he was on the platform waiting for the up train. As the train was coming to a standstill he saw the prisoner walk from the covered way of the platform, put his hands together, and make a jump in front of the engine, which was some yards away. The engine struck him and rolled over him. The train was stopped, and the witness called out, "What have you got down here for?" The prisoner crawled from under the engine, and the witness assisted him upon the platform. The witness called in a doctor and the police, and the latter removed the prisoner. Dr. H. Smith, house surgeon at the London Hospital, said that when the defendant was admitted he had a black eye, a small wound over the left eyebrow, and two scalp wounds. He was detained in hospital until Tuesday. Having heard that the prisoner bore a very good character, Mr. Saunders discharged him.