24 May 2010 – Judge told off for migrant remarks

A judge has been disciplined for making inappropriate remarks during a court sentencing. He described UK immigration policy as “completely lax”. The comments made by Judge Ian Trigger at the trial of a Jamaican man at Liverpool Crown Court in 2009, were investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints. It concluded that his comments “represented an inappropriate judicial intervention in the political process”. Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice found that Judge Trigger’s comments were “wholly unrelated to any of the issues which arose for consideration in his sentencing decision”. The Office of Judicial Complaints said that the judge had been given “formal advice”. Jamaican Lucien McClearley was jailed on 28 July 2009, for two years after admitting possessing cannabis and cocaine, having a fake passport and taking a vehicle without consent. Local reported that, during the sentencing last year Judge Trigger told the court: “Your case illustrates all too clearly the completely lax immigration policy that exists and has existed over recent years in this country. People like you, and there are literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people like you, come to these shores from foreign countries to avail themselves of the generous welfare benefits that exist here.” He went on to criticise government for having “wasted billions and billions of pounds,” adding that “much of that has been wasted on welfare payments.”

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