Page last updated at 20:26 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 21:26 UK

Magistrate warned for scum jibe at Blackburn vandals

Austin Malloy
Austin Malloy said he had no regrets and his statement was appropriate

A magistrate who described two boys as "absolute scum" for vandalising Blackburn Cathedral has been warned he could face disciplinary action.

Austin Malloy has been removed from his post as chairman of the bench while he is investigated by the court.

He criticised the two 16-year-olds at the town's youth court after they caused £3,000 worth of damage.

The Judicial Office of Communications (JCO) said what happened was currently being investigated.

The court was told that the teenagers, who cannot be named because of their ages, wrote sexual and racist graffiti on prayer books and bent an ancient St John the Baptist cross after being invited to have a look around the cathedral.

'Mindless act'

On sentencing them during Thursday's hearing, he said: "This court is disgusted by the mindless destruction you have caused. Normal people would consider you absolute scum."

Both boys were fined and given supervision orders.

Mr Malloy said the other magistrates agreed with his comments, but the clerk in the court stood up and said she objected to his description of them.

The part-time magistrate, who has been on the bench for the past 18 years, said: "I have no regrets whatsoever, I made an appropriate statement about what they had done.

"It was an unprovoked, terrible mindless act."

He has received countless messages of support after discovering he had to stand down as chairman of the bench while an investigation is carried out.

He said that no date for his return as chairman of the bench has been set.

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