The longest-serving sheriff in Inverness has presided over his last court in the new Justice Centre.
David Sutherland became a sheriff in 2001 after setting up his own business of Sutherland and Co in the town in 1979.
It spawned several law firms, including Craig Wood and Co, whose senior partner John MacColl paid tribute to Sheriff Sutherland.
Mr MacColl thanked the sheriff for his many years of service and “the kindness you have shown to agents and fiscals”.
He also paid tribute to his compassion and “the dignified way you deal with accused which has not gone unnoticed”.
Sheriff Sutherland thanked Mr MacColl for his comments and said: “I have enjoyed my time on the bench here and I find it quite strange finishing given that I was a solicitor here before I went on the bench.”
Born in 1950, Sheriff Sutherland spent his early years in Golspie and Balmacara before moving south to Perthshire.
He studied law at Edinburgh University, returned to Inverness in 1977 and established his own firm two years later.
Sheriff Sutherland will continue to be available when required although he is retired.
He will preside part-time in Stornoway for the near future until a permanent appointment is made.
He added: “I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, particularly my grandchildren, and carrying on my work as vice-chairman of the Highland Society for the Blind and chairman of the Haven Appeal.”