A MAN who was found guilty of attempting to steal Salisbury Cathedral's Magna Carta will not be sentenced today.

Mark Royden was due to appear at Salisbury Crown Court this morning to find out his punishment following a three-day trial last month.

However, the court has told the Journal that the hearing has been pulled and will be relisted soon, as the case "is not ready".

It comes after Judge Richard Parkes QC ordered for a pre-sentencing report, detailing the defendant’s background.

He added it was "overwhelmingly likely" that Royden will go to prison.

On January 30, a jury of seven women and five men found Royden guilty of attempted theft and criminal damage – after he used a hammer to cause more than £14,000 of damage to a case protecting the 800-year-old document.

The incident happened on October 25, 2018.

Royden, of Kent, originally denied the charges.

He was remanded in custody following the jury's decision.

As reported, Detective Constable Richard Barratt, from Salisbury CID, said: “This is a case which has understandably attracted significant attention due to the priceless and irreplaceable nature of the document in question.

“We may never understand Royden’s motivation in carrying out this attack, but luckily no lasting damage was caused to Magna Carta and it is now back on display in Salisbury Cathedral.

“I would like to thank everyone at the cathedral for their co-operation and support during this investigation.”

The Very Reverend Nicholas Papadopulos, Dean of Salisbury said: “We are relieved that the case is over and that a document of Magna Carta’s significance is unharmed and remains available to all; we are glad that no one was hurt in the incident; and we are proud of our staff, volunteers and visitors, who acted quickly and courageously.”