London

Homeless Buckingham Palace trespasser Steven Lawlor jailed

Stock image of police officers in front of Buckingham Palace Image copyright AFP / Getty
Image caption Security staff found Steven Lawlor sleeping on a glass cabinet in the palace grounds

A homeless man who broke into the grounds of Buckingham Palace before damaging a glass display cabinet and falling asleep on it has been jailed.

Steven Lawlor broke poster boards and the display cabinet to use as bedding, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.

Security staff found him sleeping near the south-east corner of the palace just after 5:00 BST on 16 July.

Lawlor, 44, was jailed for 28 days for trespassing and 21 days for criminal damage, to be served concurrently.

Defending, Stephanie Dale said Lawlor had substance misuse issues and was "sorry for causing anyone concern". She said "his only intention was to sleep".

Previous convictions

Lawlor appeared in court via video-link and pleaded guilty to criminal damage and trespassing on a protected site.

He caused £210 of damage but no order of compensation was made because of his limited means.

Lawlor told Deputy Senior District Judge Tan Ikram he had picked his sleeping spot to "protect me from the road".

However, Judge Ikram said: "You knew where you were entering, you would know the impact in terms of security, the costs and consequences in relation to your actions.

"You have 70 previous convictions and this adds to your appalling catalogue of offending."

The BBC understands the Queen was not in residence at the time.