Chief Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls has been diagnosed with cancer. Mc Nicolls has been seeking medical attention in Canada, judicial sources disclosed yesterday. The illness, known as chronic lymphoid leukaemia (CLL), is the most common type of leukaemia. Leukemias are abnormal and malignant neoplastic proliferations (cancers) of the white blood cells. Sources said Mc Nicolls tested positive for CLL last year. Before proceeding on three months' sick leave late last year, Mc Nicolls submitted a medical certificate to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC), indicating the diagnosis. He had been on two weeks' vacation just before proceeding on the three-month absence. Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington was appointed by Chief Justice Ivor Archie to act in Mc Nicolls' absence and Senior Magistrate Indra Ramoo-Haynes is acting as Deputy Chief Magistrate. On several days in December, Mc Nicolls conducted marathon sessions at the Port-of-Spain Eighth Magistrate's Court throughout the day to complete a number of murder inquiries.
"What could not be completed before the commencement of his two-week vacation was aborted and transferred before other courts," a magistrate said. Mc Nicolls' leave is expected to expire on March, 20, and he is due to resume duty on March 22, sources said. Judicial sources speculate that McNicolls is "hardly likely" to resume duties. One source said: "I think because of his illness and the fact that he faces a disciplinary tribunal, he may not come back at all...He is going to take all his leave that he has inside, which would take him into his retirement." Mc Nicolls has an entitlement of approximately one year's vacation and turns 55 in December, sources said. He has served approximately 30 years in the Public Service. The Privy Council is expected to hand down a decision soon on whether Mc Nicolls should face a disciplinary tribunal for his refusal to testify in a criminal matter against former Chief Justice Satnarine Sharma. The JLSC brought six charges against the Chief Magistrate after his refusal to testify, causing the Sharma case to collapse.
The T&T Guardian also understands that Mc Nicolls, who lives at St Julien Village, Princes Town, has been disposing of his properties in South Trinidad. His bodyguard PC Sean Simon has been reassigned to the Crime and Suppression Unit at Marabella Police Station. Simon was among several heavily-armed policemen who escorted 12 accused charged with the murder of a Cocorite resident to the Port-of-Spain Magistrates' Courts on Wednesday.
?What is chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
?Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (B-CLL) involves a particular subtype of white blood cells, which is a lymphocyte called a B cell.B cells originate in the bone marrow, develop in the lymph nodes, and normally fight infection. In CLL, the DNA of a B cell is damaged, so that it can't fight infection by producing antibodies. Additionally, they grow out of control and accumulate in the bone marrow and blood, where they crowd out healthy blood cells. While generally considered incurable, CLL progresses slowly in most cases. Many people with CLL lead normal and active lives for many years – in some cases for decades. The disease most often affects adults over the age of 55. In the United States during 2009, about 16,000 new cases were diagnosed and an estimated 4,800 people died from CLL in 2004.