Dismissed: the case of the Fathers4Justice campaigner and the disfigured 'Hay Wain'
A Fathers4Justice campaigner who was arrested on suspicion of gluing a 4in photograph of a boy to an oil painting by John Constable has had his case thrown out by the Crown Court.
Paul Manning, 57, faced one count of damaging property after the photograph was glued to The Hay Wain in the National Gallery. The word “Help” was written on the photograph.
But Judge McCreath told London’s Southwark Crown Court that an expert had concluded that the damage had simply brought forward the painting’s planned restoration, costing £3,436 rather than the £30,000 the prosecution had originally said. He said: “I’m simply quashing the indictment. End of. The matter must take its course elsewhere.” Mr Manning’s case will now be sent to Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
The Hay Wain is one of the country’s most recognisable works of art. The attack took place in June, a fortnight after a painting of the queen by Ralph Heimans was vandalised with spraypaint in Westminster Abbey in what was believed to be a Fathers4Justice protest.
Shortly after the attack, Fathers4Justice founder Matt O’Connor said he would “destroy 10,000 Hay Wains” for the cause of access to children.
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’