New High Sheriff for Suffolk sworn in

The outgoing High Sheriff of Suffolk George Vestey, left, Judge Martyn Levett and Suffolk’s new High

The outgoing High Sheriff of Suffolk George Vestey, left, Judge Martyn Levett and Suffolks new High Sheriff, Roz Eminson Picture: Jane Hunt - Credit: Archant

The new High of Sheriff of Suffolk has been welcomed to her year of office at a ceremony at Ipswich Crown Court.

Roz Eminson was handed the chain of office by the outgoing High Sheriff, George Vestey, who has been in the role for the past year.

Mrs Eminson was officially greeted by Ipswich Crown Court’s resident judge, Martyn Levett before Simon Spence QC welcomed her on behalf of the legal profession.

In his speech Judge Levett said: “Today we live in a society which no longer thinks or speaks with one voice, on many levels of legal, social, and religious topics.

“These are topics on which persons of different faiths or no faith at all, hold starkly differing views.

“All those views are entitled to the greatest respect under the law and it is not for a judge to choose between them.

“The law must adapt itself to these realities and so must our understanding of all communities in the County.

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“Our High Sheriffs bring to the courts their experiences and, when they visit the Crown and Magistrates Court, they leave with the experiences in our world. This is why the legal system and its role in the Office of High Sheriff remains so important,” he said.

The judge said that through the Suffolk Community Foundation Mrs Eminson had been involved with charities such as FIND (Families in Need).

“In a decade of volunteering, your time has been spent ensuring there is a lifeline for people in Ipswich and the surrounding areas, who are experiencing poverty and despair,” said the judge.

“Roz is one of several female High Sheriffs declared over the past few years and it is a particularly important to note that Suffolk is achieving an increased gender balance in its nominations after 10 centuries of male dominance. Many congratulations.”

Mrs Eminson, who has worked in marketing and organising conferences, has pledged to use her year of office to highlight the isolation felt by many young people living in rural parts of the county.

She is the latest person to hold a title that dates back to Anglo Saxon times when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the Monarch for law, order, and the collection of taxes in their area.

Now the honorary role, without payment or expenses, represents the Sovereign in areas of justice in the county.