Retired District Court Chief Judge Richard Hawkes died at his home in New Zealand on Monday morning, three months after retiring from the Hong Kong circuit. Mr Hawkes was a District Court judge from 1991 and the Chief District Court judge from 1999 until his retirement in May. He was 60 years old and had been fighting an illness for the past year. Judge Barnabas Fung Wah, the current District Court chief judge, delivered a eulogy in open court yesterday before formal proceedings. Judge Fung described Hawkes as a 'respected court leader' and a 'great sportsman', praising him for his ability on the tennis court. 'Verily, Richard was a first amongst equals,' said Judge Fung.