Dorking: Mother's Appeal
30 July 2016, 10:12
The mother of a Surrey man accused of attempting to shoot Donald Trump has launched a crowd-funding campaign to cover his legal costs.
Michael Sandford, 20, from Dorking allegedly tried to grab a policeman's gun to kill the Republican presidential candidate during a rally at Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas on June 18. He later told officials he wanted "to shoot and kill Donald Trump''.
His mother, Lynne, 41, wants help to pay for her son's legal battle to return to the UK.
Sandford is due to face trial in Las Vegas next month, pleading not guilty to charges of disrupting government business and official functions and being an illegal alien in possession of a gun.
The campaign says he is currently "shackled and handcuffed, and on suicide watch'' in a Nevada prison.
His mother wants her son to serve any sentence in a psychiatric hospital in the UK.
Campaigners have expressed concern that Sandford may attempt suicide if he were to receive a potential 30-year prison sentence rather than psychiatric care. He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after attempting to commit suicide aged 14.
Ms Sandford, a single mother, said she is worried about the mental state of her son, who suffers from autism, OCD and depression.
She said: "I am very grateful for all the help and kindness that I have received from my friends and the general public and I hope that they will be kind enough to support this campaign so that Michael can be looked after by the appropriate authorities.''
The Sandfords' UK lawyer Saimo Chahal said it would be "very serious'' were the young Briton to serve a sentence in Nevada.
She said: "We hope to influence the legal process so Michael can be returned to the UK to receive the medical treatment which he needs so badly.''
Sandford is due to face trial at a federal court in Las Vegas on August 22. A pre-trial hearing will take place on August 11.
The campaign, launched on the crowd-funding site Crowd Justice, is available here: https://www.crowdjustice.co.uk/case/michaelsandford/.