The defendant's appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court under the provisions of G. L. c. 231, Section 109, was transferred to this court under the provisions of G. L. c. 211A, Sections 10 and 12. One obstacle to the prosecution of the appeal is the fact (disclosed by the docket entries transmitted under S. J. C. Rule 1:09 and apparent from the face of the unattested copies of the "Defendant's Appeal" transmitted by the clerk of the District Court) that the defendant did not claim his appeal from the order of the Appellate Division until eight months and eleven days after the expiration of the five-day period set out in G. L. c. 231, Section 109. Compare Johnson v. Fore River Motors, Inc. 347 Mass. 776 .
The defendant appeals under G. L. c. 278, Sections 33A-33G, from his conviction for escape from the Plymouth County House of Correction and for larceny of an automobile. When the defendant took the stand, the trial judge improperly asked him numerous questions concerning his prior criminal record and activities, eliciting thereby information not otherwise in evidence. Although the evidence supporting both charges was
overwhelming, we cannot say that the error was harmless in terms of its effect on the jury. Consequently there must be a new trial. Judgments reversed.
Verdicts set aside.