Caution over Cherie Blair’s religious ruling

Cherie Blair/Booth apparently gave someone a lenient sentence because they were religious:

I am going to suspend this sentence for the period of two years based on the fact you are a religious person and have not been in trouble before. You caused a mild fracture to the jaw of a member of the public standing in a queue at Lloyds Bank. You are a religious man and you know this is not acceptable behaviour.

Admittedly, “based on the fact that” seems damning. But I think it’s worth waiting for the full transcripts to become available, as this has the feel of something that could be explained. Maybe there were unreported circumstances, or maybe this is the kind of thing judges say to get through to supposedly religious people. While it’s possible she crossed a line, I’m skeptical it’s this clear-cut.

The National Secular Society have made an official complaint, so hopefully they have all the facts of the case.  But they do, um, take a hard line sometimes, and I’d like to see more evidence before jumping the gun.