A former Aberdeen sheriff who sat on the bench in the North-east for 20 years has passed away at the age of 92.
Muir Russell, QC, died on December 25 at a nursing home in the Highland village of Aultbea, after a short illness.
Born Albert Muir Galloway Russell, the son of judge Lord Russell, he was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1951, after serving as a lieutenant in the Scots Guards.
He joined the Scots Guards in January 1944 and served with the 2nd Battalion in Germany.
He left the army in 1947.
Mr Russell became Queen’s Counsel in 1965, before moving to Aberdeen and being appointed a sheriff in 1971 – sitting at both Aberdeen and Stonehaven Sheriff Courts.
He had previously worked as an advocate in Edinburgh for 20 years.
Retiring in 1991, he was described at the time as “one of the most-quoted sheriffs by the press”.
On his retirement, he said: “I have been in Aberdeen for all my time on the bench and I have liked it very much indeed.
“The work in Aberdeen is very good, with a mixture of quality civil work as well as the criminal side – making life very interesting and stimulating.”
During his time on the bench, he hit the headlines when he decided not to endorse the licence of a driver who broke a temporary speed limit on the Aberdeen to Stonehaven road.
During the case in the mid 1970s, he had handed a £7 fine to the driver, and had said the 50mph and 60mph limits had been brought in for “political” rather than safety reasons.
The Crown lodged an appeal against the decision, while his comments sparked public debate.
Mr Russell also served as chairman of the Sheriff Court Rules Council, and was made a CBE in the 1989 New Year Honours.
The grandfather-of-nine spent his retirement with his wife Margaret at Aultbea and Edinburgh.