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Highland court official dies just a few months after retiring

By Andrew Dixon

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Sandy Lorimer.
Sandy Lorimer.

A criminal court official famed for his sartorial elegance and his collection of hats has died just months after he retired.

The legal adviser to the Inverness Justice of the Peace Court, Sandy Lorimer (57), decided to hang up his gown in October. He passed away in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness this week after a short illness. He is survived by his two brothers and a sister.

On his retirement, Mr Lorimer solved the mystery of why he loves hats.

He said on his last official day in court last October: "It all began when I was working in Fort William. It is very wet down there and the rain was dripping down my neck.

"So I decided I needed a hat with a brim and went to a local shop. I bought a leather Australian bushman's hat which did the trick.

"But then I spotted a white Panama hat and I bought that as well for the summer. Now I have a hat for all seasons."

Pauline Gair, who worked with Mr Lorimer in the Justice of the Peace Court, before becoming a procurator fiscal depute, paid tribute to her colleague and friend.

"Sandy and I were good friends in the five years we worked together," she said. "His knowledge of the law was impressive and he ran a very tight ship in court.

"But we had many laughs together and I will miss him. It is tragic that he didn't get longer to enjoy his retirement."

Senior Inverness solicitor John MacColl paid tribute to Mr Lorimer. He said: "His knowledge of the law was a credit to him. He routinely offered clear and cogent legal advice to the magistrates."

A lawyer by profession, Mr Lorimer was originally from Stirling and worked in local government and for a development agency.

He took up a role as a solicitor with the Highland Council in 1997 and was appointed to his JP role in 2008.

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