Sheriff Graham Cox, the first member of the Scottish judicial system to come into contact with the two Libyan suspects accused of carrying out the Lockerbie bombings, has died aged 81.
Sheriff Cox sat on the bench at Dundee for 25 years before becoming Sheriff Principal of South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway until retirement.
Born in Newcastle in December 1933, he was brought up in Cambuslang until the age of 15, when he moved to Dundee.
He served in the British Army from 19561961 and attained the rank of major in the Directorate of Army Legal Services.
He was called to the Bar in 1962 and served as a depute advocate-depute from 1966 to 1968, when he was appointed Sheriff of Tayside, Central and Fife, at Dundee.
He held the post until 1993 when he was appointed Queen’s Counsel and Sheriff Principal of South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway until 2000.
The suspects arrested in connection with the Lockerbie bombing appeared before him at a Scottish court at Kamp Van Zeist, The Netherlands, in April 1999.
He served as secretary of the Sheriffs’ Association from 1987 to 1991 and was its president from 1991 to 1993.
George Donnelly, vice-president of the Dundee Bar Association, said Sheriff Cox would be fondly remembered for his time in Dundee.
He said: “Graham Cox was the sheriff who set the bar for others to aspire to, he was an intellectual giant and you couldn’t pull the wool over his eyes.
“If you could survive his court you could survive any court, he was a hard taskmaster and he didn’t suffer fools gladly.
“But his bark was worse than his bite and if you were going to trial well prepared and knew your stuff you hoped it would be him because he was extremely fair.
“If there was any doubt he would always give your client the benefit of that doubt.
“He made sure no-one mucked the court about and providing they were prepared he was always very supportive of young lawyers.”
Sheriff Cox was a keen golfer and skier and took great pride in his garden,
He is survived by his wife Jean, daughters Sandra, Elaine and Susie, six granddaughters and one great-granddaughter.