A courtroom artist is fearing for his livelihood today after cameras were finally granted permission to film inside the Royal Courts of Justice, in a moment of legal and broadcasting history, which could effectively ‘end the requirement’ for his niche service.
Henry Chilton, who has expertly sketched the faces of some of Britain’s most notorious criminals, including Ian Brady and Ronnie Kray, was ‘left out in the cold’ with his pencil case and A4 drawing paper, as a Sky News camera crew ‘swaggered’ into court with their ‘fancy digital cameras and posh laptops’.
Chilton, who was granted just ‘five-minutes’ to gather his sketch pencils and to use the canteen toilets, was bluntly instructed by a courtroom usher to leave, before being advised that, pending the success of the historical trial, his ability to draw a mildly comical picture of an alleged criminal ‘may no longer be required’.
‘This is pretty much all I know’, said a frustrated Chilton today, who has played a key-role in shaping the public’s perception of heated courtroom dramas with his artwork for over twenty-years. ‘What the f**k am I going to do now? I’ve spent two-decades sketching the same scene, I’m not qualified in any other sector. How many companies are going to require an employee to sit quietly in the corner to draw people? Not many, I suspect. I’m pretty handy with a HB pencil, but even I can’t compete with a 120-megapixel camera’.
He continued,: ‘I loved this job – I could make even the most evil criminal look funny. I only found out about these changes when a fat cameraman from Sky just said “just using a bit of your lecky, mate”, before unplugging my phone charger and dumping a giant tripod between me and the dock. I’m in shock: The only other time when my services at court weren’t required was at the Rolf Harris pre-trial hearing, but that was because the defendant insisted on sketching his own self portrait’.
Chilton later added that he is considering booking an emergency flight to Spain, where he hopes to utilise his skill in drawing funny pictures of people in the cartoon caricature market, where portraits are said to fetch sums in the region of four Euros each.
JesusH (one line medici2471)