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Court, in lieu of sentencing such person to imprisonment, may, if it thinks fit, make an order for his detention for any period named in the order not exceeding twelve months in a retreat under the said Acts, the licensee of which is willing to receive him, and the said order shall have the like effect, and copies thereof shall be sent to the local authority and Secretary of State in like manner as if it were an application duly made by such person and duly attested by two justices under the said Acts; and the Court may order an officer of the Court or constable to remove such person to the retreat, and on his reception the said Acts shall have effect as if he had been admitted in pursuance of an application so made and attested as aforesaid: Provided that
(a) an order for the detention of a person in a retreat
shall not be made under this section unless that person, having had such notice as the Court deems sufficient of the intention to allege habitual drunkenness, consents to the order being made; and, (b) if the wife or husband of such person, being present the hearing of the charge, objects to the order being made, the Court shall, before making the order, take into consideration any representation made to it by the wife or husband; and
(c) before making the order the Court shall, to such extent as it may deem reasonably sufficient, be satisfied that provision will be made for defraying the expenses of such person during detention in a retreat.
1 42 & 43 Vict. c. 19; and 51 & 52 Vict. c. 19.
Evidence and Procedure.
12. Evidence of accused person.]-[In any proceeding against any person for an offence under this Act or for any of the offences mentioned in the Schedule to this Act, such person shall be competent but not compellable to give evidence, and the wife or husband of such person may be required to attend to give evidence as an ordinary witness
in the case, and shall be competent but not compellable to give evidence.1]
1 It is conceived that this section is repealed by implication by the Criminal Evidence Act, 1898, s. 6 (1), ante, p. 50. See note 1 to that section, ibid.
13. Extension of power to take deposition of child.](1.) Where a justice is satisfied by the evidence of a registered medical practitioner that the attendance before a Court of any child, in respect of whom an offence of cruelty within the meaning of this Act or any of the offences mentioned in the Schedule to this Act is alleged to have been committed, would involve serious danger to its life or health, the justice may take in writing the deposition of such child on oath, and shall thereupon subscribe the same and add thereto a statement of his reason for taking the same, and of the day when and place where the same was taken, and of the names of the persons (if any) present at the taking thereof.
(2.) The justice taking any such deposition shall transmit the same with his statement
(a) if the deposition relates to an offence for which any accused person is already committed for trial, to the proper officer of the Court for trial at which the accused person has been committed; and
(b) in any other case to the clerk of the peace of the county or borough in which the deposition has been taken;
and the clerk of the peace to whom any such deposition is transmitted shall preserve, file, and record the same.
14. Admission of deposition of child in evidence.]-Where on the trial of any person on indictment for any offence of cruelty within the meaning of this Act or any of the offences mentioned in the Schedule to this Act, the Court is satisfied by the evidence of a registered medical practitioner that the attendance before the Court of any child in respect of whom the offence is alleged to have been committed would involve serious danger to its life or health, any deposition of the child taken under the Indictable
Offences Act, 1848,1 or the Indictable Offences (Ireland) Act, 1849,2 or the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851,3 or this Act, shall be admissible in evidence either for or against the accused person without further proof thereof―
(a) if it purports to be signed by the justice by or before whom it purports to be taken; and
(b) if it is proved that reasonable notice of the intention to take the deposition has been served upon the person against whom it is proposed to use the same as evidence, and that that person or his counsel or solicitor had, or might have had if he had chosen to be present, an opportunity of cross-examining the child making the deposition.
1 11 & 12 Vict. c. 42; see s. 17; Rosc. 64.
2 12 & 13 Vict. c. 69.
3 14 & 15 Vict. c. 93.
15. Evidence of child of tender years.]—(1.) Where, in any proceeding against any person for an offence under this Act or for any of the offences mentioned in the Schedule to this Act, the child in respect of whom the offence is charged to have been committed, or any other child of tender years who is tendered as a witness, does not in the opinion of the Court understand the nature of an oath, the evidence of such child may be received, though not given upon oath, if, in the opinion of the Court, such child is possessed of sufficient intelligence to justify the reception of the evidence, and understands the duty of speaking the truth: and the evidence of such child, though not given on oath but otherwise taken and reduced into writing, in accordance with the provisions of section seventeen of the Indictable Offences Act, 1848,1 or of section fourteen of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851,2 or of section thirteen of this Act, shall be deemed to be a deposition within the meaning of those sections respectively:
(a) A person shall not be liable to be convicted of the offence unless the testimony admitted by virtue of this section and given on behalf of the prosecution
is corroborated by some other material evidence in support thereof implicating the accused; and (b) Any child whose evidence is received as aforesaid and who shall wilfully give false evidence shall be liable to be indicted and tried for such offence, and on conviction thereof may be adjudged such punishment as is provided for by section eleven of the Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1879,3 in the case of juvenile offenders, or in Ireland by section four of the Summary Jurisdiction over Children (Ireland) Act, 1884,4 in the case of children. (2.) This section shall not apply to Scotland.
1 11 & 12 Vict. c. 42, s. 17; see Rosc. 64.
2 14 & 15 Vict. c. 93, s. 14.
3 42 & 43 Vict. c. 49, s. 11.
447 & 48 Vict. c. 19, s. 4.
16. Power to proceed with case in absence of child.] Where in any proceedings with relation to an offence of cruelty within the meaning of this Act, or any of the offences mentioned in the Schedule to this Act, the Court is satisfied by the evidence of a registered medical practitioner that the attendance before the Court of any child in respect of whom the offence is alleged to have been committed would involve serious danger to its life or health, and is further satisfied that the evidence of the child is not essential to the just hearing of the case, the case may be proceeded with and determined in the absence of the child.
17. Presumption of age of child.]-Where a person is charged with an offence under this Act, or any of the offences mentioned in the Schedule to this Act, in respect of a child who is alleged in the charge or indictment to be under any specified age, and the child appears to the Court to be under that age, such child shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be under that age, unless the contrary is proved.
23. Provision as to parents and as to meaning of" custody, charge, or care.”]--(1.) The provisions of this Act relating
to the parent of a child shall apply to the step-parent of the child and to any person cohabiting with the parent of the child, and the expression "parent" when used in relation to a child includes guardian and every person who is by law liable to maintain the child.
(2.) This Act shall apply in the case of a parent who being without means to maintain a child fails to provide for its maintenance under the Acts relating to the relief of the poor, in like manner as if the parent had otherwise neglected the child.
(3.) For the purposes of this Act—
Any person who is the parent of a child shall be presumed to have the custody of the child; and Any person to whose charge a child is committed by its parent shall be presumed to have charge of the child; and
Any other person having actual possession or control of a child shall be presumed to have the care of the child.
24. Right of parent, &c. to administer punishment.]— Nothing in this Act shall be construed to take away or affect the right of any parent, teacher, or other person having the lawful control or charge of a child to administer punishment to such child.
25. General definitions.]-In this Act unless the context otherwise requires
The expression "local authority" means, as regards any borough in England, the council of the borough; as regards the city of London, the common council; as regards the county of London, the county council; and as regards any other place in England, the district council, and until a district council is established the urban or rural sanitary authority: The expression " chief officer of police" means
in the city of London and the liberties thereof, the commissioner of city police;
in the metropolitan police district, the commissioner