23 February 2017
Britain’s former most senior family law judge has taken his own life after recently being diagnosed with dementia.
Sir Nicholas Wall’s family said the 71-year-old had suffered for several years from a rare neurological disease called fronto temporal lobe dementia.
Sir Nicholas became president of the High Court’s Family Division in 2010 but retired on health grounds in 2012.
The Family Law Bar Association said he was “a compassionate judge who… cared deeply about the outcome of his cases”.
Sir Nicholas, who was called to the Bar in 1969, became a recorder in 1990 and then a judge of the High Court Family Division in 1993.
He went on to work at the Employment Appeal Tribunal, the Administrative Court and Court of Appeal.
In a 2011 interview with the Times, Sir Nicholas said a “live-in lovers” law would protect women in long-term relationships from losing their home and income in a break-up with their partner.
A year later he suggested couples should be allowed to divorce without having to blame one or the other, saying he could “see no good arguments against no-fault divorce”.
A death notice in the Times says Sir Nicholas “died by his own hand on 17th February 2017”.
In a statement, Sir Nicholas’s family said he “took his own life having suffered for several years” from a disease that “had only recently been diagnosed”.
Sir James Munby, his successor as President of the Family Division, said: “Sir Nicholas often spoke with passion, and in plain language, about the importance of family life, the good practice of family law, and the proper administration and resourcing of family justice.
“He was appropriately outspoken about the plight of children caught up in the midst of parental conflict.
“He expressed his deep concern again and again about the impact of domestic abuse on children and on family life.”
Sir N. Wall presided over what was to be the 6th Musa’s baby’s “fact-finding” hearing, beginning Oct. 21 2011 end ending on Monday 1 Nov. at the Royal Courts of Justice, London where, basically, the ins and outs of the alleged mistreatment of baby x was thrashed out, Many irregularities did I witness as this hearing, especially in the opposite sides witness evidence, given under oath in the witness box there – these witness’s “recollections” were certainly different to those of events I had been told about as really occurring at the times related to. The Musas were called back just over 3 weeks later to the RCJ, for an “emergency hearing”, in front of Sir N. Wall again, but after a few minutes in court, the court recessed, and the police came and the Musa parents were arrested there and then, to be placed in custody to go on to do 258 days on remand leading up to their most dubious criminal trial beginning in June 2012, where they were convicted and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment each, finally to be deported when their 7 year sentence ended – almost 3 years to the day, around 28 November 2014. The Musas are still in Nigeria, the mother Gloria finally getting the serious medical treatment she was denied for so long whilst in HMP here for 3 years – despite many protests to the MOJ etc. re: this proper medical treatment for her was always denied her during the 3 year sentence – eg. the continual bleeding from internally from giving birth to a 7th child on March 10 2012 whilst on remand in HMP Holloway – Gloria was still bleeding from internally 3 years later upon her release from prison and deport back to Nigeria around 28 Nov. 2014.
The full true story of this tragic case of the Musa’s 7 children being removed from them, and the bizarre events which were involved in that, along with all the rest of the totally unacceptable actions that the Musa family had to endure has never been told, and should be – the sooner the better.
J. Graham – Mckenzie Friend to the Musa Family.
above: Sir Nicholas Wall