A British man, Mark Royden, was charged for trying to steal an original 1215 version of the Magna Carta from the Salisbury Cathedral. According to reports, Rayden tried to steal the 800-year-old manuscript by breaking its glass case with the help of a hammer. The accused was initially chased by tourists and ultimately caught by the authorities.
According to reports, the 47-year-old man was charged by a jury present at the Salisbury Crown Court located in the southwest part of England. Royden was accused of committing the 'act of attempted theft and criminal damage to property'. He was also slapped with a fine of almost 15,000 pounds.
The presiding judge of the case, Richard Parkes told the jury members that the irony of the Magna Carta is that no man will be put in jail without a lawful judgement by his peers, adding that the irony is still relevant today and present in the court. According to reports, the court came to know about the fact that the accused had 23 previous convictions based on 51 offenses.
Mark Royden denied all charges against him. However, Prosecutor Rob Welling reportedly told Salisbury Crown Court that it was the actions of 'good-spirited' members of the public that prevented the robbery and his escape. Willing further said that the defendant failed to steal the Magna Carta for two reasons – the historic document was 'just too tough' for the tool he brought and because he did not bank on visitors and members of staff willing to intervene, after which he was caught and detained.
The prosecutor also said that Royden also made comments that he should get a medal for what he had done and he could have done more damage if he had a samurai sword. The prosecutor reportedly said that the 47-year-old made 'odd statements' to police while he was smelling of alcohol.
Magna Carta Libertatum also is known as the Magna Carta is a charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede located near Windsor on June 13, 1215. The charter was first drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between the king and a group of barons.
The Magna Carta promised access to swift justice, limitations on feudal payments to the Crown, protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment and access to swift justice, which was to be implemented through a council of comprising of 25 barons.