A judge who said burglary needed "a huge amount of courage" will be investigated after members of the public contacted the Office for Judicial Complaints to vent their anger at his remarks.
Judge Peter Bowers admitted he might be "pilloried" when he spared the burglar jail at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday.
The case caused an outcry, with the Prime Minister commenting that burglars were not brave but "cowards" and their crimes were "hateful".
A spokesman for the Office for Judicial Complaints said: "The Office for Judicial Complaints has received a number of complaints in relation to comments that His Honour Judge Bowers made in relation to a case in Teesside Crown Court on September 4 2012.
"Those complaints will be considered under the Judicial Discipline Regulations in the usual way. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage."