Rotary Club Of Warwick

Nov1 - The High Sheriff came for dinner!

Clare Sawdon JP, High Sheriff of Warwickshire joined Rotarians for dinner on Halloween night. Clare is the Queens representative in the County responsible for the judiciary and was soon put to work judging the pumpkins made by the staff at Warwick Hilton! With the aid of a broomstick her deliberations were swiftly made, and pumpkin was soon on the menu for dinner.

After dinner Clare explained that the role of High Sheriff is one of the oldest civic positions and pre-dates the Norman Conquest. Sheriffs were set up under Saxon law to provide justice, they were the ones who drafted the Magna Carta which the king was obliged to sign, limiting the powers of the crown. Nowadays the role is unpaid and lasts for just a year. The High Sheriff is responsible for supervision of the Courts, supporting law enforcement, the police and prisons, and accompanies the Lord Lieutenant when a member of the royal family visits the County.

Clare is the 9th lady High Sheriff in Warwickshire and previously served as a parish, District and County Councillor. As a serving magistrate she has a good understanding of the courts process and her new role enables her to see how the system works overall. During her year Clare Sawdon has visited Onley and Long Lartin prisons, sat in on important local cases in the courts, patrolled with the Police, and visited women’s refuges. She tries to identify issues where she can intervene to help people’s rehabilitation and promote the voluntary sector.

Rotarian John Hibben thanked Clare for her civic service and care for those in need, and President David Smith presented her with a cheque towards the work of the charity Crimestoppers