Lawyer King had received bad health news

High-profile defence lawyer Greg King had received disturbing health news just days before he was found dead at the weekend.

The body of the 43-year-old was found beside his car on Saturday morning in the Wellington suburb of Newlands.

In a column today dedicated to his close friend, Sir Bob Jones writes that while Mr King accepted a diagnosis of diabetes last year as "a minor nuisance", a "fresh problem" with the diagnosis arose last week.

He said the suggestion he had been affected by public condemnation of the Ewen Macdonald not guilty verdict in the Scott Guy murder trial was wrong. Instead, the lawyer accepted opprobrium was part of his job.

A police spokesman would not comment on a post-mortem examination yesterday after coroner Wallace Bain issued a written warning to media about the conditions which apply to reporting deaths referred to the coroner.

Of Ngati Tuwharetoa descent and the son of a prison officer, Mr King grew up in Turangi. He loved beautiful cars and boxing - he claimed to have been known as the Canvas Kisser in his youth. Rugby league, animals, collecting art, alcohol and fried food made that list, too.

In 2007 he was named Barrister of the Year and was the host of The Court Report, on the now defunct TVNZ 7, which focused on contemporary legal issues. He practised with his wife, Catherine Milnes-King, out of Lower Hutt.

- Yvonne Tahana

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