A minute's silence was held at Medway Magistrates' this morning after a highly-respected prosecutor collapsed and died in the courtroom yesterday afternoon.
Mr Matthew Quantrill, believed to be in his 40s, had been in fine spirits earlier on, according to a colleague, who did not wish to be named.
Paramedics were called to the court in Rope Walk Chatham, just after 2pm where they tried to resuscitate him.
Mr Quantrill, who worked for the Crown Prosecution Service, was pronounced dead at the scene. His family were informed.
John Weir, chairman of the magistrates' bench said: "He was very popular with all court users.
"Everyone is in total shock. It is a complete loss. He was a first class lawyer and had a fine legal mind."
Mr Quantrill has worked in courts across Kent and has prosecuted at Medway for at least 20 years.
"Everyone is in total shock. It is a complete loss. He was a first class lawyer and had a fine legal mind" - John Weir
Messenger court reporter Lynn Cox said: "Matthew was well liked by everyone at Medway Magistrates' Court. I know the staff who work there will be devastated by his death, as I am.
"He would always greet me with a smile and ask what cases I was interested in when I arrived in court.
"He worked hard and was extremely conscientious and professional in everything he did, but he also had a wicked sense of humour and we would often laugh about situations which arose at the court.
"I was shocked to hear he had died, he seemed such a fit and healthy person. The courtroom will not be the same without him."