A judge who said burglary needed “a huge amount of courage” will be investigated after members of the public contacted the Office for Judicial Complaints to vent their anger at his remarks.
Judge Peter Bowers admitted he might be "pilloried" when he spared the burglar jail at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday.
The case caused an outcry, with the Prime Minister commenting that burglars were not brave but "cowards" and their crimes were "hateful".
A spokesman for the Office for Judicial Complaints said: "The Office for Judicial Complaints has received a number of complaints in relation to comments that His Honour Judge Bowers made in relation to a case in Teesside Crown Court on September 4 2012.
"Those complaints will be considered under the Judicial Discipline Regulations in the usual way. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage."
Judge Bowers' conduct will be investigated by the OJC and if complaints are upheld the case will be passed to the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor, who will consider if disciplinary action is needed.
They have the power to advise, warn, reprimand or remove a judge for misconduct.
According to the Evening Gazette newspaper, Judge 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."
Handing 26-year-old Richard Rochford, from Redcar, a suspended 12-month term, the judge said: "I'm going to take a chance on you."
The judge also claimed jail would not do much good in this case.
After acknowledging the trauma burglary victims face, the judge explained he would not jail Rochford, who had quit drugs since the February break-ins.
He must complete a two-year supervision order with drug rehabilitation and 200 hours' unpaid work, with a one-year driving ban.
Speaking on the ITV programme Daybreak, David Cameron admitted he had not seen the details of the case, but added: "I am very clear that burglary is not bravery.
"Burglary is cowardice. Burglary is a hateful crime.
"People sometimes say it is not a violent crime, but actually if you have been burgled, you do feel it was violence.
"I have a very clear view about this, which is burglary is a despicable and hateful crime.
"I have been burgled twice. You feel completely violated. When someone has smashed their way into your house and stolen your possessions.
"I am very clear that people who repeatedly burgle should be sent to prison."
He added: "That is why this Government is actually changing the law to toughen the rules on self-defence against burglars, saying householders have the right to defend themselves."
The judge's comments drew a furious response from David Hines, chairman of the National Victims' Association.
He said: "What message does this send out to society? Quite frankly it is outrageous. The criminal justice system has let the victims down.
"Burglars are going to believe that judges think they are courageous. I think this judge is on a different wavelength to everyone else."
Mr Hines, from Jarrow, South Tyneside, set up the association after his daughter Marie was murdered aged 23 in 1992.
"I have been doing this for 20 years now and the criminal justice system has been getting diluted and diluted, getting weaker," he said.
"I am sick of hearing how victims are at the heart of the criminal justice system - doesn't this prove that they are not?
"Burglars are not courageous, they are probably doped up on drugs.
"People who are courageous, to me, are soldiers, nurses and policemen."
One barrister who works at Teesside Crown Court expressed surprise at Judge Bowers' remarks.
He tweeted: "I am amazed by this, if true, as he is one of the toughest sentencing judges in Teesside."
The case highlighted the need for the public to elect tough police and crime commissioner candidates, Victim Support said.
Chief executive Javed Khan said: "Burglary can be a traumatic experience for victims and leave long lasting scars.
"It is therefore disappointing to see it being taken lightly by anyone - not least someone whose role it is to make sure offenders are brought to justice.
"It is just the latest example showing why the promises Victim Support is asking PCC candidates to make are so important and why the public should vote for victims on November 15."