COLLEAGUES and friends of Barry-based solicitor Colin Jones have paid tribute to a 'respected' man, following his tragic death in Cardiff Bay over the weekend.

Mr Jones, whose firm Colin Jones Solicitors is based in Thompson Street, fell from a boat at Mermaid Quay at around 10.20pm on Sunday.

Emergency services and the RNLI pulled him from the water, but resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful.

Fifty-three-year-old Colin – who has two children Claire and Harrison Jones and a stepson Peri Megas – was born in and lived in Barry, and was well known around the town.

His family were this week too upset to comment, but a spokesman for Colin Jones Solicitors said: "All of those who knew Colin will be deeply shocked and saddened at his sudden passing.

"Since qualifying in 1982, Colin established an enviable personal reputation as a talented advocate, providing a thoroughly professional service in a friendly and approachable manner.

"His personal and professional attributes were apparent to all those who knew him through his work, and his standing among his peers is second to none.

"His expertise lay in criminal defence and childcare work, helping the most disadvantaged in society, and there is no doubt that he was comfortably able to establish a rapport with his clients, no doubt assisted by his local knowledge.

"Since setting up his own practice in 1992, his colleagues have thoroughly enjoyed working with him, assisted greatly by his guidance "He will be dearly missed by all of the legal community in South Wales."

The spokesman added: "His family and colleagues ask that he is best remembered for his achievements in providing much needed expert advice over the years to members of the local community." Staff at Barry Magistrates' Court held a minute’s silence for Mr Jones on Tuesday when the court re-opened following the Bank Holiday break.

Barry Magistrates’ chairman of the bench Dave Taylor said the news had been a terrible shock.

"Our thoughts and sympathies go out to his family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time," he said.

"Like many of my colleague magistrates, I have known Colin for some years in his capacity as a defence solicitor.

"He was an active and very popular participant in the life of the Court and well respected by all who knew him – defendants, prosecutors and magistrates – in fact all court users.

"He was professional to the core in his relationship with us and always fair and objective in the way he treated his clients.

"He will be a great loss to the people of Barry."

The incident is not being treated as suspicious and the matter has been referred to the coroner.