'Not entirely an angel herself': Controversial comments made by judges

Judge Peter Bowers is one of several who have refused to jail a paedophile for his crimes against children.

The controversial comments uttered by Judge Nigel Peters and lawyer Robert Colover are the latest in a series of remarks that have been criticised as being offensive to child victims of sex abuse.

Judge Peter Bowers

Earlier this year Judge Peter Bowers refused to jail a paedophile for accessing images of child abuse, saying "he'd have a hard time" in prison.

Judge Bowers is famous for refusing to jail a burglar in September last year, after saying it took a "huge amount of courage as afar as I can see for somebody to burgle somebody's house."

Read: Judge says burglars show 'courage' during break-ins

He was officially reprimanded for damaging public confidence in the courts.

Judge Mark Lucraft

In April this year, Judge Mark Lucraft refused to send a paedophile who abused children aged seven and eight to jail because it would cause "suffering" for his family.

Judge Julian Hall

Judge Julian Hall has been criticised on several occasions for his comments in sexual abuse cases.

In 2007, he jailed a window cleaner for two years for the rape of a ten year old girl. In his summing up he commented on the ten-year-old's clothing was "provocative" and that she looked 16.

Earlier the same year, he suggested that another victim of child sex abuse could be bought a bicycle "to cheer her up."

Judge David Paget

In 2002, Judge David Paget handed down a suspended sentence to a paedophile who police believe was part of ring that abused hundreds of children over many years.

80-year-old Trevor Mellis was given two years probation for taking and distributing images of child abuse. Despite having a string of sexual abuse convictions against children, he never served any time in jail.

Judge John Prosser

In February 1993 Judge John Prosser freed a 15-year-old boy found guilty of raping a 15-year-old virgin and suggested he could pay his victim £500 for a good holiday to "get over the trauma."

Judge Ian Starforth Hill

In June 1993 Judge Ian Starforth Hill described the 8-year-old victim of attempted rape as "not entirely an angel herself" and gave her attacker two years probation.

Judge Sir Harold Cassel

Judge Sir Harold Cassel QC in 1988 refused to jail an ex-policeman for indecently assaulting his 12-year-old stepdaughter, who had learning difficulties.

He said the man was driven to assault the girl because his wife's pregnancy had dimmed her sexual appetite, causing "considerable problems for a healthy young husband".

Judge Cassel was strongly rebuked by Lord Mackay, the Lord Chancellor, and retired early on medical grounds.