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Is damaging an ancient site still vandalism if you say you’re doing it “to benefit the public”? It’s a question that was clarified last June at Doll Tor, Derbyshire, arguably Britain’s most picturesque stone circle.

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The fact that “some of the smaller stones had been moved to sit on” caused huge indignation. How dare anyone change a public asset for their own benefit? But what if the culprits, when caught, mounted the defence that “We did it so the wider public would have more convenient places to sit”?

Would that defence work? Or would a judge say “no, that’s no excuse for blatant vandalism and citing “public interest” to justify it merely displays arrogance, especially when the changes can never, ever be undone”?

English Heritage, Historic England, the National Trust, and Wiltshire Council ought to be forced to explain how their behaviour at Stonehenge differs from the behaviour of a couple of little scrotes at Doll Tor. (You may have noticed: they haven’t done so, as they can’t.)

 

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