In a bid to Kill Donald Trump, a British man attempted to grab a gun for which he has been sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison.
The 20-years-old Michael Sandford pleaded guilty in September to being an illegal immigrant in possession of a firearm and disrupting an official function.
He was accused of trying to grab a policeman’s gun at a rally in Las Vegas to shoot at the Republican candidate. His mother said that her son was “remorseful” over what he did.
Mr. Sandford faced up to 10 years imprisonment over the alleged assassination plot. The court heard that the accused could be free in four months’ time, after which he will be deported to the UK.
The defense team claimed that their client has autism and suffers seizures and obsession-compulsion anxiety.
Michael Sandford of Dorking, Surrey appeared in the court in the orange prison garb, looking slight and pale, with his ankles shackled. The member of his family waved towards him and mouthed: “I love you” at which he smiled. Sanford then broke into tears and apologized for what he had done and costing the taxpayer money and taking up the time. He said that he feels “terrible” about it.
Mr. Sandford’s mother, Lynne Sandford also addressed the judge saying that her son was “adored and cherished.” She appealed for a lenient sentence on the basis that her son needed treatment and family support. She said that it “breaks my heart” to see her son in an environment like this.
After the arrest, Sandford told officers that he planned to shoot the billionaire Presidential candidate. Court heard that he failed to pull the weapon from the officer’s holder. His mother said that she lost contact with her son when he left home to travel around the U.S. in 2015. She was unable to explain why her son would want to kill Mr. Trump, as he had shown no interest in politics previously.
Sandford, who was living illegally in the U.S. having overstayed his visa, told the secret service that he had driven from California to Nevada to shoot Mr. Trump. The documents presented to the court show that he was plotting the attack for around a year, and had gone to a gun range in Las Vegas the day before the attack to learn how to shoot, firing 20 rounds from a 9mm Glock pistol.
He had reportedly told the officers that he was expecting to die during the attack, but had bought tickets for a Trump rally to be held later in Arizona in case he needed a second chance.
The judge James Mahan while addressing Sandford said that “I don’t think you harbored malice in your heart.” He appeared sympathetic towards the 20-years-old accused, and described the incident as a “crazy stunt.” He further added that:-
You have a medical problem. (It is) nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. I don’t see you as evil or a sociopath.
He also wished luck to Sandford as he rose to leave the courtroom.