A British man was found guilty of attempting to steal a version of the Magna Carta on Thursday, according to The Guardian. Mark Royden was convicted of using a hammer to smash the case around the 805-year-old document at Salisbury Cathedral in late 2018, and was charged with attempted theft and criminal damage to the document’s case. The 47-year-old went to the cathedral on Oct. 25, 2018, equipped with a hammer, gloves, and safety goggles. After trying to disable a CCTV surveillance camera and setting off a fire alarm, Royden smashed the case but was stopped by members of the public. After his arrest, Royden reportedly told police in an “odd prepared statement” stating that he “doubted the authenticity” of the document. “You can’t talk to me about the holy grail, so to speak. If you find a bag on the floor which says cocaine on it, you would have to test that bag forensically,” Royden reportedly said at the time. “As for your holy grail, you would need a carbon test and a trace element test.”
In court, the judge reportedly pointed out the “irony” of him being convicted for stealing the Magna Carta, which states that no free man may be imprisoned unless the lawful judgment of his peers says so. “It still holds good and is in the process of the court right now,” Judge Richard Parkes said. Royden is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 25.