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Man guilty of defacing portrait of Queen Elizabeth II

Published on Jan 9, 2014 2:25 AM

LONDON (AFP) - A campaigner for fathers' rights to see their children was found guilty on Wednesday of defacing a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II while it was hanging in Westminster Abbey.

Father-of-two Tim Haries, 42, scrawled 'help' in purple paint on the large oil painting by Australian artist Ralph Heimans on June 13.

Haries, an electrician and activist with the Fathers4Justice campaign group, had denied causing criminal damage of more than £5,000 (S$10,455), saying his act was a protest to highlight the "social justice issue of our time".

But the judge at London's Southwark Crown Court told the jury that civil disobedience was not a valid defence, and Haries was found guilty.

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