The end of an era as Rothesay sheriff retires

Sheriff John Herald presided over his last cases before retirement at Rothesay Sheriff Court on Monday.
Sheriff John Herald presided over his last cases before retirement at Rothesay Sheriff Court on Monday.

ROTHESAY Sheriff Court reached the end of an era on Monday - and Sheriff John Herald admitted that there was doubt over the long-term future of the facility as he presided over his last cases before retirement.

Sheriff Herald was installed as the sheriff of Rothesay on January 10, 1992, and had kind words for those who had appeared before him, both professionally and in the dock and witness box, over those 20 years.

Though he did not refer explicitly to the contents of a Scottish Court Service document called ‘Future Court Structures’, which has identified Rothesay as one of seven sheriff courts which could be considered for closure because they are not busy enough, he acknowledged that he is likely to be the last in a long line of sheriffs of Rothesay.

“The future of Rothesay Sheriff Court is a little uncertain,” he said, “but no matter what happens in the future, I rather suspect that I will be the last person privileged enough to hold the title of the sheriff of Rothesay.

“I wish to thank all the people who have appeared before me over the last 20 years – the police and the social work department for all the advice and assistance they have given me, and all other court users, and the public of Rothesay, who have not, in general, caused me any difficulty at all.

“I thank the local solicitors for the professional manner in which they have conducted themselves before me, and all the solicitors, and occasionally counsel, from elsewhere who have also appeared before me and given me the honour and dignity they felt I should enjoy.

“To the people of Bute, I trust I have served you well. It has been an honour and a privilege to have served you in this court, and I thank you all very much.”