IT WAS very much a family affair when the new High Sheriff of North Yorkshire was sworn in at York Crown Court.

Five of Christopher Legard's ancestors on his grandmother's side had held the role before him and his younger brother, barrister Edward Legard, gave the traditional reply of the Bar at the ceremony.

His chaplain, the Rev Rachel Benson, who served the Sand Hutton group of parishes for many years, was herself a former High Sheriff and Mr Legard and his wife Miranda hosted a fundraising event for another former High Sheriff, Charles Forbes Adam, when he held the post.

Mr Legard, of Scampston Hall near Malton, said he was "hugely honoured" to be appointed.

He will be the Queen's representative in North Yorkshire in the legal community and will support the judiciary, the emergency services and the voluntary services in their work.

In his speech, his brother Edward called on him to champion the cause of vulnerable people who appear before the courts, whether as victims or defendants.

In his retiring speech, the outgoing High Sheriff Simon Wrightson remembered how he spent a night in prison raising money for his chosen charity, Help the Heroes, and how he met a murderer preparing to be released after 21 years in jail.