02/05/2014 07:28 EST | Updated 04/07/2014 05:59 EDT

Tim Haries, Fathers4Justice Activist, Jailed For Defacing Painting Of Queen

Dan Dennison via Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30: Two people view the painting 'Twin Forms' by Sonia Rawson on display in the 'Gifted: From the Royal Academy to The Queen' exhibition at The Queens Gallery on October 30, 2013 in London, England. Two new exhibitions are opening at The Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace. The first 'Castiglione: Lost Genius' unveils work, from the Royal Collection, by forgotten 17th century Italian artist Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1604-64) and the second 'Gifted: From the Royal Academy to The Queen' features works, presented by the Royal Academy of Arts to Her Majesty The Queen to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, by some of Britain's finest contemporary artists. It is the first time the gallery has shown work by contemporary artists and both exhibitions are running from November 1, 2013 to March 16, 2014. (Photo by Dan Dennison/Getty Images)
LONDON - A fathers' rights activist has been sentenced to six months in jail for spraying purple paint across a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey.

Tim Haries told jurors he defaced the royal portrait with the word "help" to highlight what he described as the "social catastrophe" of divorced fathers being denied access to their children.

Haries, who was dressed in a Superman suit, is a member of Fathers4Justice, a group that has carried out stunts on behalf of fathers who they claim have been prevented by the courts from seeing their children.

Judge Alistair McCreath told Haries on Wednesday that he had caused "deliberate and planned ... damage to a valuable item of property on public display, carried out as a publicity exercise."

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