Judge tells woman to remove burka to prove identity

A Muslim woman accused of witness intimidation has been told to remove her burka by a judge before entering a plea in his court in case she was an imposter.

The Judicial Office said the 21-year-old from east London had initially refused to remove her full veil and reveal her face at Blackfriars Crown Court.

But judge Peter Murphy said the court's pursuit of open justice trumped her religious beliefs.

He also turned down a request from the woman's barrister for a female member of the police or prison staff to confirm her identity from arrest pictures before she entered the court.

The case was adjourned until Sept 12, when he may hear legal argument about the issue.