Arnold Dickinson, 39, a ‘professional mime artist’ from Sheffield was arrested yesterday after an ‘armed-stand off’ with police. The siege lasted 12 hours when Mr Dickinson finally released his female hostage unharmed.
Detective Roy Aldridge said ‘We couldn’t do anything whilst he held an invisible pretend knife to the hostage’s throat. He looked like he was on edge you could see it in his eyes and we didn’t want to provoke the suspect into doing something he’d regret later.’
The events that sparked the stand off began when security staff tried to apprehend Mr Dickinson on suspicion of stealing items of clothing from a Top Shop store. The shop’s manager said ‘we caught him on CCTV pretending to put items of the Emperor’s Clothes range into an invisible bag. It’s plain as day for all to see what he was miming.’
Meadowhall Shopping Centre security then approached Mr Dickinson while he was performing the ‘dark art of silent acting’ to a group of bored teenage ‘mall rats’ and he tried to escape on a pretend horse. The chase didn’t last long according to eye-witnesses when he got trapped down an invisible and very windy alley. With no way of escape he tried using his hands to find a way out.
Later at Sheffield Magistrates court, Mr Dickinson was placed on remand charged with contempt of court having tried to mime his name, age, address and a plea of not guilty. As we was taken below he tried to escape but the pretend handcuffs and invisible ball and chain on his leg restrained him. Court reporters think that he may have been trying to mime ‘I’m innocent, it’s a fit up!’ but weren’t sure as the pretend opening an umbrella routine was interrupted by court security guards.
Prison sources have confirmed that Mr Dickinson is now on suicide watch in case he tries to hang himself with an invisible pretend rope that he may have concealed on his body. One legal insider commented ‘everyone know he is actually innocent. But it’s one less bloody mime artist on the streets, and that’s got to be worth it.’