SENTENCES FOR SEXUAL OFFENCES.
From A. A. EDWARDS. M.P.:-While I am one of the first to resent inadequate sentences for sexual offences, I think it is a pity that Mrs. Goode should publicly
criticise Mr. Justice Angas Parsons with- out a knowledge of the circumstances sur- rounding the case of Kelly. I happened to be in Court at the time, and His Honor showed by his remarks that ordinarily he took a very strong view of this type of case, but as it appeared from the de- positions that the girl was a fully con- senting party and that the accused person was genuinely anxious to marry the girl and thus to some extent right the wrong he had done, and, further, as the accused had always been of good repute, His Honor thought that 12 months' imprison- ment was sufficient. Mrs. Goode also seems to have missed the fact that the accused was charged with indecent assault and nothing more serious. I do not know why this was, but I understand that it may have been to prevent the defence that the girl was apparently over the age of consent. If this was the reason, or if His Honor thought it likely that that was the reason, it would of course have a big influence on his judgment. As regards the sentence for stealing a motor bicycle the Legislature has fixed two years as a maximum, and as no worse case of steal- ing a motor bicycle could, be imagined it seemed to me His Honor could not do less than he did.