A judge who commented a burglar needed “a huge amount of courage” has been formally reprimanded for a “serious error of judgment”, the Office for Judicial Complaints (OJC) said.
Judge Peter Bowers told an offender, who raided three homes in five days: "It takes a huge amount of courage, as far as I can see, for somebody to burgle somebody's house. I wouldn't have the nerve” as he gave him a suspended 12-month sentence at Teesside Crown Court in September.
His comments led to a public outcry with Prime Minister David Cameron joining the criticism, insisting burglars were not brave but "cowards" and their crimes were "hateful".
Today, the OJC said that following an investigation, the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice have upheld complaints about the judge's comments and issued him with a reprimand as his remarks "damaged public confidence in the judicial process".