Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Man held on suspicion of cathedral Magna Carta theft bid is bailed

Sat 27 Oct 2018
By Alex Williams

Police have released on conditional bail a man they arrested on suspicion of trying to steal the Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral.

The 45 year old has been released until 20th November while investigations continue into an attempted theft at the Wiltshire landmark on Thursday.

A hammer-wielding man who tried to smash his way into a display housing the ancient manuscript was wrestled to the ground by staff shortly before 5pm.


The text was saved from being "very seriously damaged" by a second layer of protective glass, according to the Dean of Salisbury Rev Canon Nicholas Papadopulos (pictured below).

An alarm rang and tourists watched on in horror at events unfolded in the building's Chapter House area.

Ben Birchall/PA Wire


While three holes were left in the display, the artefact - one of the oldest surviving copies of the Magna Carta - was not damaged. No one was hurt.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: "We are still appealing for witnesses; if you were in the cathedral at the time and have not spoken to police, please get in touch via 101 and quote crime reference number 54180101438.

Ben Birchall/PA Wire


"Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

Now one of the most revered legal documents in the world, the Magna Carta established for the first time that neither a monarch not government was immune to the rule of law.

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