Victorian barrister Colin Lovitt QC dies

Karen Sweeney
·1-min read

Longtime Victorian criminal defence barrister Colin Lovitt QC has died.

Mr Lovitt retired from the job in 2015 after a 45-year career and appearing in around 200 murder trials.

He died on Sunday, aged 75.

"Generous to many, passionate barrister, lived the life he wanted to live," family wrote in a death notice.

In 45 years Mr Lovitt notched up wins in some of the state's most high profile cases, including helping Mark "Chopper" Read beat a murder charge.

Mr Lovitt also successfully defended Greg Domaszewicz when he was charged with the June 1997 murder of Moe toddler Jayden Leskie.

Mr Domaszewicz was the then-boyfriend of the boy's mother Bilynda Williams.

And Mr Lovitt was no stranger to controversy.

He was fined $10,000 in 2003 after calling Queensland magistrate Bruce Zahner a "complete cretin" during a court case.

The judge said at the time jail would have been an appropriate sentence but the state's attorney-general had not asked for it.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry posted a tribute to Mr Lovitt on social media.

"He was one of the bar's greatest characters and a formidable criminal defence lawyer," he said.

Mr Lovitt was a founding and life member of the Criminal Bar Association.

"He was also a friend. Vale Colin," Justice Lasry wrote.

The Victorian Bar Association remembered him as a great advocate for his clients.

"He is remembered by his friends and colleagues as a barrister who had a heart of gold, who was most generous with his time and ho helped and guided others, particularly juniors," the association said in a statement.

Mr Lovitt is survived by his wife Margaret and sons Marcus and Zane.