Update: Judge found dead in his home

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Judge James Weir, pictured in 2011. PHOTO/FILE
Judge James Weir, pictured in 2011. PHOTO/FILE

Police have confirmed the death of Rotorua judge James Weir is not being treated as suspicious.

Judge Weir, 65, presided over the courtrooms of Rotorua District Court for 15 years.

He left his court judge position in April 2015 to take up the role of chairman of the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority.

His body was found by his daughter about 12.45pm yesterday at his home in Tihiotonga.

A post mortem examination was carried out today.

In a statement, police said his death was not being treated as suspicious and his death has been referred to the Coroner.

Meanwhile, Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue has paid tribute to the contribution and service of Judge Weir.

Appointed a judge in 2000 with a Jury trial warrant, he moved from Hamilton to serve in the Rotorua circuit, hearing cases in Rotorua, Tokoroa and Taupo.

His new role at the authority took him all over New Zealand, and Judge Doogue said he had taken on the task with relish.

"He loved his new role, and when I spoke to him before Christmas he was still excited about it and enjoying the travel , which took him the length and breadth of the country.

"He was much loved and respected among the community of District Court judges and he will be sorely missed. I pass on my deepest sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues."


Rotorua District Court Judge James Weir has died suddenly in his home.

His body was found by his daughter around lunchtime yesterday.

According to Bay of Plenty Coroner Wallace Bain a forensic post mortem was carried out this morning, the results of which are expected later today.

"We have learnt that in the last few days Judge Weir has probably had several mini-strokes which haven't been recognised as that and my preliminary view is he had another one which caused him to fall through a glass door...," Mr Bain said.

Judges Chris McGuire, Jocelyn Munro and Alayne Wills held a special sitting in the Rotorua District Court at 9am today to pay their respects to Judge Weir.

In a statement to the Rotorua Daily Post, Rotorua police said there was "nothing at this stage to indicate the death is suspicious, but a post mortem examination will be carried out today to determine cause of death".

Rotorua lawyer and former New Zealand Law Society president Jonathan Temm extended his sympathy and support to Judge Weir's family and friends.

He said most of those in the Rotorua legal community knew the judge and had appeared in front of him.

Judge Weir had presided over Rotorua courtrooms for 15 years.

Mr Temm said like all judges, Judge Weir had a high caseload.

His funeral is expected to be held in Rotorua later this week.

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