A RETIRED judge has been awarded the highest honour the city council can give.

The highly-respected circuit judge Toby Hooper, QC, was given the title Honorary Freeman to City of Hereford by Hereford City Council.

His Honour Toby Hooper's inauguration was held on Sunday and he was presented with a sealed scroll of the resolution by outgoing Mayor of Hereford Charles Nicholls.

Judge Hooper became a circuit judge in 2007 and in 2009 he was appointed Honorary Recorder of the City of Hereford. He retired last December.

The status of honorary freeman is given to "persons of distinction and persons who have, in the opinion of the council, rendered eminent services" to the local area.

Cllr Nicholls said: “It was a real privilege to present Toby with this scroll and the distinction of Freeman of the City of Hereford.

"Toby has been such a faithful and valuable friend of this city."

It is in recognition of his service as Honorary Recorder to the City of Hereford, together with the support and encouragement he gave to the local magistracy and the benefit given to residents in preserving a proper judicial presence in the city.

Cllr Chris Chappell from the city council said: “As a distinguished judge on the Hereford and Worcester county court circuit, and as Honorary Recorder of the City of Hereford, Toby Hopper has given great service to the city, offering his legal advice and experience when called upon, to ensure that the city council administered its responsibilities correctly."