Campaigner denies defacing portrait of the Queen in abbey

Fathers4Justice campaigner Tim Haries, 41, from Doncaster,
Fathers4Justice campaigner Tim Haries, 41, from Doncaster,

A Fathers4Justice campaigner from Doncaster has denied defacing a portrait of the Queen displayed in Westminster Abbey.

Tim Haries, aged 42, is alleged to have smuggled a can of spray paint into the abbey on June 13 before defacing the picture.

Appearing at London’s Southwark Crown Court, he pleaded not guilty to a charge of causing criminal damage of more than £5,000.

Haries, an electrician of Bellis Avenue, Balby, was given conditional bail to return to the court for trial on January 6.

The case is expected to last for between one and two days.

The painting, by Australian-born artist Ralph Heimans, had been on display in the abbey’s Chapter House for only a few weeks before it was vandalised with paint last year.