A MAN has been jailed for four years for trying to steal a “priceless” version of Magna Carta.
Mark Royden, 47, used a hammer to smash the security case holding the historic rights document.
He found a route round Salisbury Cathedral that avoided CCTV and set off an alarm as a distraction.
Royden, of Canterbury, Kent, was found guilty at Salisbury crown court of attempted theft and criminal damage of £14,466 to the case in October 2018.
He told police he “doubted the authenticity” of Magna Carta, one of four in existence from the original 1215 charter.
Royden was said to have become “a pest mired in drink and drugs” after suffering brain damage in a 1991 car accident.
Judge Richard Parkes QC awarded Matthew Delcambre, of Louisiana, US, £1,000 and cathedral staffer Gary Price £500 for detaining Royden.
King John issued Magna Carta after agreeing peace terms with a band of rebel barons and it is now one of the world’s most celebrated legal documents.
The Salisbury copy went back on display three months after the incident with the damaged case being made part of the exhibition telling the document’s history.
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