Radio Sandwell News

Campaigner Tim Haries guilty of defacing Queen portrait

2014-01-08 16:24:52

Queen Elizabeth II
The portrait of the Queen was unveiled for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations

A Fathers4Justice campaigner has been found guilty of defacing a portrait of the Queen while it was on display in Westminster Abbey.

Tim Haries, 42, of Bellis Avenue, Doncaster, told jurors he vandalised the picture to highlight the "social justice issue of our time".

He was accused spaying the word "help" on the Ralph Heimans painting.

Harris denied a charge of causing criminal damage of more than £5,000 at Southwark Crown Court.

The father-of-two smuggled a can of purple spray paint into the abbey on 13 June before scrawling the word "help" on the £160,000 painting.

Tim Haries
Tim Haries decided to represent himself in court

Haries looked straight ahead as the verdict was announced in front of a public gallery full of supporters, many of them dressed in purple, the colour adopted by the campaign group.

The court heard that, moments after committing the act, Haries told a Westminster Abbey steward: "Sorry mate, I've got nothing against the Queen" before telling a police officer he was "guilty as charged".

Prosecutor Allister Walker said Haries shouted "fathers for justice" as he put the graffiti on the large oil painting before being tackled to the ground by steward Peter Crook.

Haries, who was wearing a "prominent" Superman buckle on his belt, told officers who arrived at the scene "it's for Fathers4Justice".

Photographs of the incident were later posted on a Fathers4Justice Facebook page.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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