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British man jailed for ‘trying to shoot Donald Trump’

LONDON: A British man who tried to grab a policeman’s gun at a Donald Trump rally has been sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison.

Michael Sandford, 20, was sentenced in Las Vegas today after he admitted to being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and disrupting an official function.

In June, Sandford snatched a policeman’s gun at a Trump rally in Arizona in order to shoot at the then Presidential candidate, who is now the President-elect.

Las Vegas police lead Michael Steven Sandford from Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign rally at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 18, 2016.   REUTERS/David Becker/File Photo

Sandford, who has autism, allegedly told officers after his arrest that his plan was to shoot the business tycoon. He had faced up to 10 years in prison over the assassination plot, reported the Huffington post.

Sandford admitted as part of the plea deal that he had approached a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer at the event in June, saying he wanted an autograph from the presidential candidate, then tried to pull the officer’s gun from his holster with both hands.

Sandford, who had by then overstayed his tourist visa by about 10 months, was immediately arrested and removed from the rally, the Justice Department said.

He also acknowledged having visited a Las Vegas gun range the day before the campaign incident at the Treasure Island casino-hotel, to take shooting lessons with a rented Glock handgun, firing 20 rounds at a paper target, the Justice Department said.

Las Vegas police lead Michael Steven Sandford from Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign rally at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 18, 2016.   REUTERS/David Becker/File Photo

In August, Sandford’s mother, Lynne Sandford, told reporters in London that her son, who has been diagnosed in the past with autism, depression and other mental health conditions, had been on suicide watch in a Nevada prison for several weeks.

She portrayed her son as a compassionate, child-like man who enjoyed watching “Peppa Pig,” a British television program for preschoolers, and who was bewildered and frightened by his incarceration.

 

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