A LEADING judge described as ‘the best legal mind in Wales’ has died of a suspected heart attack on April 9.
His Hon Judge Pryce Michael Farmer QC, 66, a Chester-based barrister for many years, had gone to London with his wife Olwen and daughter Mair Mihangel to buy outfits for the wedding of his son Siôn ap Mihangel, who is getting married in July.
This week there were minute’s silences and tributes paid at courts across the region.
Judge Farmer lived with his wife on Upper Downing Road, Whitford, near Holywell.
This week Norman Closs Parry and Paul Brighton of the Whitford-based Thomas Pennant Society, of which Judge Farmer was a member, said: “We are very sad, shocked and devastated to learn about the passing away of Michael.
“We were very honoured to have had him as a member of the Thomas Pennant Society. He will be very much missed by all of us.
“He was a very distinguished judge and member of the community. Our thoughts are very much with his wife Olwen and family.”
Judge Farmer became a Crown Court Recorder then a QC before being appointed a circuit judge in the Crown Court.
At Caernarfon Crown Court Mr Justice Lloyd Jones said: “He was a fine judge and a fine man. “This news will be received with great sorrow by his many friends.”
Friend Judge Derek Halbert added: “I think he had the best legal mind in Wales.
“He had a brilliant analytical brain all his life. He was a perfectionist.
“In 40 years we never had a cross word and he was always there for me. He was steadfast and faithful to all of his friends.”
Judge Farmer’s son Siôn said the family had been inundated with messages of condolence.
“We are very grateful to everyone for their support at this time,” he said.
Judge Farmer fought the Conwy seat for Plaid Cymru in two general elections. His two children are both Chester-based barristers.
A devout Catholic, he was honoured to be asked to read a Prayer in Welsh during the Pope’s UK visit last September.