British man to be sentenced over Donald Trump gun incident

Updated: 

A British man will be sentenced later for trying to grab a policeman's gun at a Donald Trump rally in an alleged bid to kill the now US president-elect.

Michael Sandford, 20, attempted to snatch the weapon at a Las Vegas casino where Mr Trump was addressing supporters in the run-up to the US election in June.

He allegedly told officers after his arrest that his plan was to shoot the tycoon.

Sandford, who has autism, will be sentenced at a federal court in Las Vegas after pleading guilty to charges of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and disrupting an official function.

His mother Lynne Sandford said her son fears Mr Trump may "choose to make an example of him" and demand a lengthy prison sentence.

She told the Press Association: "Michael is terrified. He phoned me 15 times through the night with severe anxiety over what the judge is going to say to him and the sentence he will be given.

"Michael is afraid that because Donald Trump is now president-elect, it may have some bearing on the judge's sentencing.

"He is remorseful over what he did. He fears Donald Trump may intervene and choose to make an example of him."

Mrs Sandford has appealed to judge James C Mahan to allow her son to serve his sentence in the UK so he can receive the correct psychiatric help.

Sandford, of Dorking, Surrey, had faced up to 20 years in jail had he been found guilty of the offences at a trial. While the sentence could be significantly shortened to between 18 and 24 months under the terms of his plea agreement, Mrs Sandford has said the judge could still impose a much longer prison term.

She is travelling to Las Vegas for the hearing with her mother Christine and four-year-old daughter Jessica, having seen her son once since he was detained.

Sandford's father Paul Davey is also expected to attend the sentencing, Mrs Sandford added.

The family has launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise £10,000 to pay legal costs in their fight to bring Sandford back to the UK to serve his sentence. Donations can be made at www.crowdjustice.org/michael-sandford.