Nigel Milsom, The Winner Of Australia's Richest Art Prize, Is Getting Out Of Jail

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An Australian painter who won Australia’s richest art prize is set to be released from jail after a court ruled his six-year sentence for armed robbery was unjust.

Nigel Milsom, who has a history of substance abuse and mental health issues, robbed a convenience store with his drug dealer James Simon in April 2012.

Milsom was profiled by Business Insider in this piece which explores his work, battle with depression and his relationship with Simon, and the wider issue of mental health and crime in Australia.

He was awarded the Moran Prize – which came with $150,000 in cash – while behind bars for his portrait titled “Uncle Paddy”.

This week, according to a Fairfax Media report, the NSW Court of Appeals decided the sentence was unjust, after his lawyer Philip Boulton, SC, argued there were errors in the sentencing process.

The court did not quash the conviction but said Milsom should be released on bail pending the outcome of an appeal.

“What occurred was highly irregular,” Chief Judge of Common Law Justice Clifton Hoeben said. “The process that was taking place was not in accordance with the law.”

Boulton reportedly told the court that, during sentencing hearings, it was indicated that Milsom, who had no prior criminal convictions, would be sentenced to no more than two years, and that the sentencing judge Justice Peter Maiden failed to take his mental illness, or rehabilitation into account.

The six-year term was the same as the sentence received by Simon, though with a shorter non-parole period. Simon already had an extensive criminal history before the pair robbed the Glebe 7-11.

There’s more here.

Now read: How One Of Australia’s Most Successful Working Artists Wound Up In Prison For Armed Robbery

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