Galway Girl Ed Sheeran
10 September 2016, 09:13
The mother of a man from Surrey accused of trying to grab a policeman's gun in a bid to kill Donald Trump has finally been allowed to visit him in prison in the States.
Michael Sandford, 20, from Dorking, allegedly tried to snatch an officer's weapon during a rally at a Las Vegas casino on June 18, later telling officials that his plan was "to shoot and kill Donald Trump''.
Lynne Sandford and her son lost contact when he left their home to travel around America. The next time she saw him, he was on TV being frogmarched out of the Trump rally.
Until Thursday, Ms Sandford had not been able to visit Michael in jail in Las Vegas.
She said: "We spent the entire time hand to hand and I could feel the warmth of his hand through the mesh.
"We were allowed a few moments together privately at the end and we just hugged the screen. I was crying.
"I was quite tearful for a lot of it. My teardrops actually went through the screen and he was able to actually feel those which was heart-wrenching.
"He clearly feels very defeated by everything that's happening to him. He just restated that he loves us and misses us and just wants to come home more than anything in the world.''
Ms Sandford, who travelled to the US with her mother Christine and four-year-old daughter Jessica, said her son had described the incident as a "blur'' and could not remember much about it.
"Obviously he wishes it never had happened,'' she added.
Ms Sandford continued that her son had a number of mental health conditions - including autism, anxiety, depression and anorexia - and she is calling for him be transferred to the UK to serve any jail sentence.
His British lawyer, Saimo Chahal QC said: "Michael has two options. The first is to go for a jury trial, the second is to consider the plea bargain that has been offered to him.''
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.