US & Canada

US election: Michael Sandford who 'wanted to shoot Trump' charged

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Media captionThe man was detained by police at the Trump rally

A British man who allegedly snatched a police officer's gun at a rally for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Las Vegas has been charged in the US.

Michael Sandford, 20, face charges of disrupting an official function and illegal firearm possession.

According to court documents, he said he wanted to shoot Mr Trump, but he is not charged with plotting to kill him.

If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

Mr Sandford was initially charged last week with an act of violence in a restricted area, at the Treasure Island casino hotel in Las Vegas, where Mr Trump was speaking.

He told the secret service that he had driven there from California in order to kill Mr Trump, and had been to a gun range the day before to practise shooting, according to the court documents.

He also said he expected to die in the attempt, which he had been planning for a year.

Image copyright US District Court of Nevada
Image caption Nevada Distict court documents show what Mr Sandford told US Secret Service agents

Mr Sandford's father Paul Davey, from Havant, said his son had "always been a polite and peaceful boy".

Mr Davey told the Portsmouth News: "Whether he's been blackmailed or put up to it, that's the only thing me and his mum can think of.

"It's so against his nature and obviously with his Aspergers [a form of autism], we think somebody has got hold of him and done something," he said.

Trump suspect Michael Sandford a 'very quiet lad'

US Magistrate Judge George Foley Jr said during Mr Sandford's first court appearance in Las Vegas his mental health may be an issue.

His lawyer, Heather Fraley, said Mr Sandford previously attempted suicide and once ran away from a hospital in England.

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