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Judicial CP - June 1969

Corpun file 22060

Daily Sketch, London, 7 June 1969

Boys will get 10 lashes of the birch

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A BRITISH court yesterday ordered two boys to be birched.

The sentences were imposed at Peel on the Isle of Man which retained birching when it was abolished in the rest of Britain in 1947.

The boys will be given the punishment at Peel police station for a breach of a probation order.

They will also be sent to a detention centre for stealing liquor from an off-licence yard.

One of the boys, aged 14, will receive four lashes. The other, aged 15, will get six.

They will be held down on a table by policemen while another policeman applies the three-foot long birch to their bare bottoms.


The birch -- twigs banded together -- often draws blood. Offenders are examined before and after the punishment by a doctor.

The Isle of Man retained corporal punishment as a deterrent to hooliganism, mainly among holidaymakers.

Children aged from 8 to 14 are caned. Boys from 14 to 21 can receive up to 20 lashes of the birch. And the island has never abolished the death penalty.

There are normally three or four birchings a year. Yesterday's sentence was the first in 1969.

A Manx MP, Mr. Edward Callister, described birching as "barbaric."

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