Judge faces inquiry after immigration outburst

Judge Ian Trigger complained that “hundreds and hundreds of thousands” of illegal immigrants were abusing the benefits system. The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, has referred the outburst to the Office for Judicial Complaints, to rule on whether it was too political.

An OJC spokesman said: “We have been asked to focus on the propriety of the judge’s statements and assertions, and whether they went beyond the facts of the case and extended overtly into the political arena.”

The complaint relates to statements made by Judge Trigger as he sentenced Lucien McClearley, 31, from Jamaica, for two years for drugs offences at Liverpool Crown Court last week.

The final decision on whether the judge stepped out of line will be made jointly by Lord Judge and the Lord Chancellor, Jack Straw. If the complaint is upheld, sanctions available range from guidance to reprimand or even dismissal.

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