Mother of man who wanted to kill Trump: 'He needs help, not prison'

Lynne Sanford, the mother of attempted killer Michael Sandford, gave an extended interview to the BBC in which she expressed her shock at what her son had allegedly attempted to do.

Michael Sandford was arrested last month after he tried to grab a police officer’s gun at a Donald Trump rally. Sandford, who is British and has been in the U.S. for about 18 months, told police he had driven from California to Las Vegas with the intention of killing Trump. Sandford had even visited a target range the day before the attempt in order to practice shooting.

His mother Lynne Sandford had previously gone to the police because she was concerned about her sons whereabouts. Eighteen months earlier she had attempted to prevent him from traveling to America but, because he was 18 and an adult, there was no way she could stop him. So when she was awoken by a call from authorities informing her that her son had been located she was relieved. Her relief turned to shock when she found out he had been arrested and was facing a serious prison term for an attempted assassination.

“I was horrified,” Lynne Sandford told interviewer Victoria Derbyshire. “Obviously it’s very scary. This is not the Michael I know. I just can’t get my head around it to be honest,” she added.

“The Michael I knew was very sweet, very sensitive, very calm. Everybody who knew him said he was polite, articulate, charming. I think his two defining characteristics, he had the fantastic sense of humor, very wacky sense of humor and he was very loving to his family…You know this is not the actions of the same person.”

According to his mother, Michael had never expressed any interest in politics at home in England, much less abroad. She can’t understand his sudden focus on Donald Trump.

Another topic that comes up in the interview is Michael Sandford’s history of mental problems. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age 13 and around the same time he developed an eating disorder and OCD. At age 14 he was “sectioned,” the British equivalent of being committed. “He had to be sectioned for his own good to try and get some help with him,” his mother says.

Michael tried to escape from the hospital where he was committed but when that attempt failed he wrote his mother a letter saying in part, “I am not bad or evil or naughty and I never intend to be. I try to be polite and non-rude.”

Michael Sandford is currently in solitary confinement 22-hours-a-day. If convicted he could face up to 30 years in prison.

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