Sheriff John McInnes, QC, has been appointed as the sheriff principal of South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway, writes Bruce McKain.

He will replace Sheriff Principal Graham Cox, QC, who is to retire.

A graduate of Oxford and Edinburgh, Sheriff McInnes, 61, was called to the Bar in 1963 and took silk in 1989. He has been a sheriff since 1973, at first in Edinburgh. He worked in Cupar from 1974 and since 1981 has served in Perth.

Married with two children, Sheriff McInnes is a native of and a Deputy Lieutenant for Fife.

He did National Service and was commissioned in the Royal Tank Regiment. He later served as an officer in the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse (TA).

Sheriff McInnes includes trekking and skiing among his hobbies and while he was at the Bar co-founded what was to become Britain's largest continental quilt company.

He was a director of the company for eight years and chairman for two years before becoming a sheriff.