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Artist Patrick Maguire sketched by Supreme Court artist Isobel Williams

Miscarriage of justice victim was supporting Sam Hallam campaign

11 May, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Patrick Maguire and Isobel Williams

PATRICK Maguire was outside the Supreme Court this week supporting a campaign from fellow miscarriage of justice victim Sam Hallam.

Wrongfully convicted of IRA bomb-making in the 1980s, Mr Maguire, who lives in Maida Vale, has turned to art during a long recovery. His sketches are regularly displayed in galleries and he has gone around the world talking about his work.

On Monday, he became the subject of another artist, who has sketched her fair share of lively characters inside and outside the court room.

The Criminal Justice Act makes it contempt of court to photograph or make sketches inside a court, except in the Supreme Court where hearings are live- screened.

Ms Williams’ sketch of Mr Maguire

Isobel Williams, from Kensington, has permission from the court to make sketches inside. Recalling how it came about, she said: “Jon Robins [a journalist] and I had been wondering about how tight the law on drawing would be. We were told ‘no way’ by the Royal Courts of Justice, so I just wrote to the Supreme Court on the off chance. To my surprise I got permission. My attendance has fallen off of late. Obviously it’s a rather eccentric thing to do.”

On her blog, she adds: “Official court artists, commissioned by news outlets, have to use their trained memories, a cruel and unusual punishment. They take a good look then dash out to concoct an image. “As a dilettante, live-drawing in several locations, I have the Supreme Court’s per- mission to pursue my stream-of-consciousness tendencies in the public seats, drawing and blogging about what the initiated see.”

Ms Williams runs a blog where she publishes her sketches and has also written a book – The Supreme Court: A Guide for Bears. Lord Neuberger, former president of the Supreme Court, has said of the book: “Isobel Williams’s drawings capture the essence of these inquisitive and endearing characters, and her words help bring to life some of the things they get up to when the justices and staff aren’t looking.”

To see more of Isobel’s sketches visit her blog or website at: http://isobelwilliams.blogspot.co.uk

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