Success Stories

Not guilty by reason of insanity

By  |  20.12.2017

We acted for the person who was responsible for damaging The Morning Walk by Thomas Gainsborough. He used a drill bit to cause £10,000 of damage to the painting that was hanging in the National Gallery.

It was common ground between the prosecution and the defence that our client was suffering from a mental illness. However the test for insanity is whether he either did not know what he was doing, or he did not know that what he was doing was wrong. The prosecution argued that although he was mentally ill, our client was still aware both of what he was doing and aware of the fact that what he was doing was wrong. Our client had maintained all along that he was acting on voices in his head that were telling him what to do and that he had no choice but to do what he was told.

The matter was tried in front of a jury at Southwark Crown Court who very quickly concluded that our client was not guilty by reason of insanity.

Tim Walker was the solicitor and Emma Scott of Doughty Street Chambers was the barrister.

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