Page last updated at 16:55 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

Race row magistrate to keep job

Carol Robsob
A review found Carol Robson had no racist intent (Pic: Sunderland Echo)

A Sunderland magistrate who used the term "Paki shop" in court is to keep her job despite Justice Secretary Jack Straw recommending she be sacked.

Carol Robson made the comment during a hearing at the city's magistrates' court in June 2008 as she was sentencing a shoplifter.

She told the offender not to go back to the "Paki shop" where he was caught.

She successfully appealed calls for her to be sacked and will instead undergo "diversity training."

A disciplinary panel recommended she should be removed from her job, but Mrs Robson appealed and the punishment has now been reduced after a review found she had "no racist intent".

Independent review

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge and Justice Secretary Jack Straw had earlier recommended she should be removed from her post.

But an independent review body looked into the case and handed out the lighter punishment.

A spokesman for the Office for Judicial Complaints (OJC) said: "Following the use of a racist term in court by Mrs Robson, it was made clear that the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice supported a recommendation for her removal from the Magistracy.

"Mrs Robson requested an independent review body to consider what had happened.

"After hearing evidence, including oral evidence from Mrs Robson, the review body has concluded that she had no racist intent and should not be removed.

"She has been issued with a reprimand and provided with additional diversity training."

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