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Special Court Sitting to Honour Barrister’s Half Century of Service

Wairarapa barrister Jock Blathwayt’s 50 years of service to the law was recogised with a special sitting of the Masterton District Court last week, with Judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers and clients in attendance.

Jock Blathwayt has been a Rumpolean figure in Wairarapa and Wellington law for more time than most even long-practising lawyers can remember.

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But poor health has forced the 80 year old barrister into retirement with an appropriately legal sendoff.

Stuff.co.nz reported that District court Judge Barbara Morris, who often presided over Masterton court, said the Wairarapa legal fraternity would have a “hole in its heart” without the ever-steadying presence of Blathwayt.

Judge Jenny Binns likened Blathwayt to the curmudgeonly television barrister Rumpole of the Bailey.

Blathwayt said he was overwhelmed by the special sitting  but, as he done throughout his career, he did not lose the opportunity to petition the bench to consider matters requiring attention, including the consultation of the criminal bar when changed to the judicial system were proposed and also that methamphetamine abuse should be regarded as a health, rather than criminal issue.

Jock Blathwayt practised law with his late brother, Gerald Blathwayt, who had also been a prominent rugby player.

He featured in numerous prominent criminal cases, including the Lou Tawhai murder that had featured satanic rituals among other matters.

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