Judge Les Atkins QC dies

by Samantha Woodhill27 May 2016
The Palmerston North District Court held a moment’s silence yesterday morning in memory of Les Atkins, who died at his Manawatu home on Wednesday.

Atkins, a Palmerston North defence lawyer, district court judge and Queen’s Counsel, practised law from 1976 until he retired in 2015, Stuff reported.

Remembered for his courtroom acumen, which saw him rack up 40 back-to-back murder trial acquittals as a defence lawyer, judges Gregory Ross, Gerard Lynch and Stephanie Edwards, as well as High Court Justice Joe Williams, presided over the moment’s silence.

He was made a QC in 1990 and served as a district court judge from 1997 to 2015.

Before specialising in criminal law, Atkins lectured at Victoria and Canterbury.  He also spent time working with the Law Commission.

A funeral date is yet to be set.