A woman who is the first to wear a hijab whilst sitting as a deputy district judge in the UK has said that she hopes to be a “trailblazer”.

Raffia Arshad, a member of St Mary’s Chambers in Nottingham, recently received her letter of appointment as a judge for the Midlands circuit.

On her appointment, Raffia, 40, said: “I don’t just see it as a personal achievement, it’s much bigger than that”.

The joint heads of St. Mary’s Chambers said; “She (Raffia) has led the way for Muslim women to succeed in the law”.

Mother of three, Judge Arshad, from Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire, said: “I almost feel a little detached from it being me. It’s become more about making sure that I am inspiring other people, no matter what their background may be.

“It’s taken me a while to get to where I am now, but I have to say that I am incredibly pleased with what I have achieved.

“I also see this as a huge achievement for anyone from a diverse background”.

An expert in Islamic family law, Judge Arshad is, however concerned about a lack o diversity in the judiciary.