Robber wins art award

Unlike most artists who are just on the bludge this one was a real criminal.

A man serving jail time for armed robbery has won this year’s coveted Doug Moran National Prize for portraiture.

The prize was established by Doug and Greta Moran in 1988 to foster portraiture skills and excellence in photography.

The $150,000 prize has been won by Nigel Milsom for his portrait called Uncle Paddy.

The portrait depicts his grandfather’s friend, who he says would drink with him every Saturday night.

A spokeswoman for the award says he painted the portrait before going to jail.

Judge Daniel Thomas says he was struck by the gentleness the artist captured. 

Instead of sticking his hand out he went on a bender and robbed a 7-11. The cost to society is still probably less than if he was a real artist who went on the bludge for decades, or a ratbag like Brian Rudman who wants tens of millions of dollars wasted on his useless theatre that there is no market for.

TOP artist Nigel Milsom was so high on a cocktail of drugs and booze, he thought he was “buying doughnuts” when he was actually brandishing an axe during a violent corner store robbery.

Milsom, last year’s Sulman Prize winner and Archibald finalist, took a combination of heroin, “ice”, prescription drugs and alcohol the night he robbed a 7-11 store in Glebe with a tomahawk, Downing Centre District Court heard.

The artist has pleaded guilty to robbing the convenience store in the early hours of April 18, 2012, with his drug supplier James Eric Simon – the son of a prominent Aboriginal artist.

The robbery came just weeks after Milsom won the $30,000 art prize for Judo House pt 4 (Golden Mud).

The winner of the 2012 Sulman Prize was local Nigel Milsom for Judo House pt 4. Source: News Limited

Milsom will spend at least three weeks behind bars after Judge Peter Maiden revoked his bail on Friday.

Prosecutor Colin Shaw submitted that the DPP would be asking for Milsom to be jailed.

Armed with a knife, axe and a fake gun, Milsom and Simon bashed and threatened to kill the shopkeeper while holding him hostage in the store room, the court heard.

They fled with $644, 18 packets of cigarettes and $918 worth of mobile phone credit but were arrested by police, according to a set of agreed facts tendered to the court.

Giving evidence, Milsom said he had been taking drugs all that day and had little memory of the robbery.

“My state of mind is hard to describe … I thought I was buying doughnuts,” he told the court.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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