A magistrate refused to deal with a defendant wearing a veil it has been revealed.

At Manchester Magistrates Court Ian Murray walked out of the case because Zoobia Hussain, 32, of Crumpsall, was covered.

Ms Hussain's lawyer, Judith Hawkins, said in a statement "She Hussain remains shocked and distressed.

"She feels that the court's treatment of her was insensitive, unacceptable and against the traditions of fairness and equality that we have come to expect from our system of justice.

"She is angry that, as a result of the ensuing publicity, she has now had to explain to her children what happened."

Hussain, was charged with criminal damage, covered her entire face apart from her eyes when she faced the magistrates.

However, Mr Murray felt the veil raised identity issues and left the hearing without explaining why.

The Judiciary of England and Wales said: "Mr Murray is concerned about questions of identity when the full veil is worn in court.

"However, he agrees that he acted unwisely in disqualifying himself without giving reasons, and acknowledges that he should have sought the advice of his legal advisor in court, and discussed the provisions of the national guidelines with his colleagues on the bench, before taking action.

"Mr Murray is supportive of those of different faiths and cultural traditions and acknowledges and regrets his action could be misinterpreted."

Hussain's case was dealt with immediately after Mr Murray withdrew and was adjourned until July 18.

Mohammed Shafiq, of the Ramadhan Foundation, said: "It is despicable that the judiciary is ignoring the guidelines about the wearing of the hijab set out only in February by the Judicial Studies Board.

"They require that magistrates and judges be sensitive' to a woman's religious requirement to wear the hijab and work around it when possible.

"I can't see how her veil prevented this woman's case being heard fairly."