FROM Timbuktu and the Himalayas to Peterborough Crown Court – a new judge with a passion for charity and travel photography has just taken up his post in the city.
Judge Nic Madge became a resident judge at Peterborough and Huntingdon Crown Courts on Monday, following the retirement of Judge Neil McKittrick.
The father-of-two, whose photography taken from all four corners of the globe has raised tens of thousands of pounds over the years for African Children’s Educational Trust (ACET), said he was glad to return to Cambridgeshire after starting his legal career at Cambridge University.
The 57-year-old, originally from the West Midlands, said: “I read law at Cambridge because I wanted to do something that combined an intellectual discipline with something where I could work with people.
“I was also concerned about justice and it is these things that still drive me today.”
He is no stranger to big cases, working in and around London for more than two decades, saying one of the biggest cases of his career, where a man defrauded thousands of people of a total of £33 million, took place last year at Harrow Crown Court.
He said: “I sat on the case of Kevin Foster, a former taxi driver who set up a pyramid investment scheme.
“About 8,500 people paid him £33 million. He was sentenced to 10 years.”
Away from the courtroom, Judge Madge is known as a keen photographer and travel writer who has travelled across the world with his family.
After more than 10 years photographing people from all four corners of the globe, he compiled his photographs in 2007 and published a book called One World, One View.
This book raised £12,000 for the African Children’s Educational Trust (ACET), a charity which aims to help African children through education and building schools.
An exhibition of his photographs held at Harrow Crown Court also raised £10,000 for the same good cause.
He said: “I have always enjoyed taking photographs and it is fair to say I have been all over the world.
“I was in a rural area of northern Ethiopia and there were lots of children who were really enthusiastic about practising their English.
“When I got back I bumped into another judge, who was a trustee of ACET, and after a number of discussions we managed to raise money from solicitors and barristers to have some photographs framed and placed on the staircase at Harrow Crown Court as a public showcase.
“That raised £10,000 and the book that followed raised £12,000. It is still a charity that I support.”
He said that he was delighted to start work in Peterborough, adding: “Before starting I spoke to other judges at Peterborough and Huntingdon and they were very helpful.
“The staff are very dedicated and hard working and have given me a warm welcome. My first impression is that this is a very efficient and well-run court, with a very strong judicial team.”
Career of Judge Nic Madge
AFTER beginning his legal studies at Cambridge University, Judge Madge started his career as a solicitor.
He said: “I started as a solicitor and did a lot of advocacy until a very experienced judge suggested I become a judge myself. “At the time I was a partner at Bindman and Partners, a leading firm of London solicitors, where I specialised in housing litigation and I still write and publish books on the subject.”
He became a deputy district judge in 1989, working in various county courts across London, until he started as a full-time district judge at West London County Court in 1995.
In 2004 he was appointed as a circuit judge at Harrow Crown Court before moving to Peterborough.
Along with publishing books and articles on housing law, Judge Madge is also an editor on The White Book, described as the conclusive statement on civil procedure.
Judge Madge has travelled extensively and says his favourite moment overseas came when travelling through Ethiopia.
He said the highlights of the trip were watching the sunrise at Annapurna base camp, in the Himalayas, as well as seeing the sunset on a wooden boat going down the river in Timbuktu.
n For more information about Judge Madge, his work, fundraising and travels, visit his website at www.nicmadge.co.uk