Michael Sandford: Everything we know about the British man who 'tried to assassinate Donald Trump'

Michael Sandford could be given a prison sentence of up to ten years and fined a maximum of £170,000.

Matt Payton
Tuesday 21 June 2016 19:28
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Police remove Michael Steven Sandford as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Treasure Island hotel and casino in Las Vegas
Police remove Michael Steven Sandford as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Treasure Island hotel and casino in Las Vegas

The British man who allegedly grabbed a police officer's pistol in an attempt to kill Donald Trump at a rally has been described in court as autistic yet competent.

Michael Sandford, from Dorking in Surrey, was arrested at a rally for the presumptive Republican nominee at the Treasure Island hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The 20-year-old reportedly told police he had planned for more than a year to kill Mr Trump and die in the process, according to the US Secret Service.

He was tackled and frogmarched out of the venue after allegedly asking to get the businessman's autograph and attempting to take a policeman's sidearm.

Another member of the crowd, Gregg Donovan, said he briefly spoke to Sandford, describing him as "strange".

Identified by his UK driving licence, Sandford had been living in Hoboken, New Jersey for around 18 months.

He was living out of his car, did not have a job and was in the country illegally after overstaying a visa.

His mother told court researchers that he was treated for obsessive compulsive disorder and anorexia when he was younger, and that he once escaped a hospital in England.

Prior to arriving in Las Vegas on Thursday June 16, Sandford drove across the country to San Bernadino in California.

The next day he visited Battlefield Vegas shooting range where he shot a 9mm Glock pistol, firing off 20 rounds.

The Secret Service report said that as a back-up, Sandford bought a ticket to another Trump rally in Phoenix Arizona later on in the day.

His mother, who has not been named, told Federal Magistrate Judge George Foley her son had a history of mental health problems.

From an early age Sandford had been interested in the TV series Robot Wars and had rebuilt fighting machines for roadshows affiliated to the show, according to the Telegraph.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are providing assistance following an arrest of a British national in Las Vegas."

Facing a charge of "an act of violence on restricted ground", he could be given a prison sentence of up to ten years and fined a maximum of £170,000.

Sandford was denied bail and is due back in court on July 5.

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