Briton held over Trump gun incident 'so sorry for everything', mother says


The mother of a British man accused of trying to grab a policeman's gun in a bid to kill Donald Trump said she does not "for one minute" believe he meant any harm. 

Lynne Sandford was able to visit her son, Michael Sandford for the first time on Thursday - more than two months after he was arrested on June 18.

The 20-year-old of Dorking, Surrey, allegedly tried to snatch an officer's weapon during a rally at a Las Vegas casino, later telling officials that his plan was "to shoot and kill Donald Trump".

Ms Sandford spoke to her son, who she says does not remember what happened, through a wire divide at the Lloyd D George courthouse in Las Vegas on Thursday. 

She told the Press Association "He's so sorry for everything. He's very remorseful and glad that nothing happened, nobody got hurt, and he just feels terrible about the whole thing and the effect that it's having on the family. He desperately misses us and loves us and he just wants to come back to the UK.

"We spent the whole meeting hand-in-hand through the wire mesh, at the end we put our cheeks together and I was crying and he felt one of my tear drops come through the mesh, so we actually had contact after all."

The 46-year-old said her son had never shown an interest in politics, and when asked if she believed he had intended harm, replied: "Not for one minute."

"He has actually said to me: 'It's imperative you understand, mum, I would never under normal circumstances do anything like this. You know that don't you?' and I said 'yes of course I do'.

"I know something went very wrong with his mind at that time."

Ms Sandford said that her son had a number of mental health conditions - including autism, severe OCD, anxiety, depression and previously anorexia - and had previously tried to take his own life twice.

She and her son had only "erratic" contact  after he travelled to New Jersey, and the next time she saw him was on TV being frogmarched out of the Trump rally. 

Continuing she said: "He feels in limbo because the trial keeps getting put back. He doesn't know how to cope with each day, let alone any longer than that.

"In some ways he's very young - like a little boy in a man's body.

"This was completely out of character: he's never hurt anybody, never had any inclination to hurt anybody. He's always been the opposite: very kind, very polite and well-mannered and considerate."

Mr Sandford's British lawyer, Saimo Chahal QC said the 20-year-old had two options - to have a jury trial or to accept a plea bargain that has been offered.

More than £32,000 has been raised on a crowdfunding page set up to help the family pay for legal fees. 

Mr Sandford has been charged with being in the country illegally and disrupting government business. He faces up to 10 years in US prison if found guilty.

His trial starts on October 3.