The mother of a British man accused of seizing a gun to “kill” White House hopeful Donald Trump launched a campaign Tuesday to bring her autistic son home from the United States.
Michael Sandford, 20, will face trial next month after trying to grab a police officer’s gun at a Las Vegas campaign rally in June, before being overpowered.
He later told police he wanted to “to shoot and kill” Trump, the Republican presidential nominee.
Lynn Sandford, 42, is trying to raise the money to fund a legal battle so her son can serve any sentence in Britain.
“Michael is extremely vulnerable and I don’t think he will survive being incarcerated in a US prison,” she told a London press conference, explaining he was now on suicide watch in a Nevada jail.
“We want to try to bring him home to the UK to a secure place that will help him.”
Sandford has pleaded not guilty to charges of disrupting government business and being an illegal alien in possession of a gun, and his trial is due to begin on August 22.
But his British lawyer has said he is mentally unfit to plead.
Lynn Sandford said her son had “tried to do a bad thing”, but that he was mentally ill “and not a bad or dangerous person”.
“Michael is an autistic man who would not have foreseen the consequences of his actions,” she said.
“He has attempted suicide when he was 14 and has suffered from depression throughout his life.”
Sandford had overstayed his US visa by several months and had been reported missing by his mother at the time of the incident.
The family has launched an online crowd-funding campaign to raise £25,000 ($33,200, 29,600 euros) to help repatriate Sandford, which has already hit over £20,000.
“Please, please help us to raise funds: to try to influence the legal process in the States, to try and get a good lawyer for him there,” said the CrowdJustice funding page.
“I am not asking for my son to escape punishment. We want him to serve his sentence in a safe institution for vulnerable people.”
Family lawyer Saimo Chahal told reporters that the top priority was “to try and secure Michael’s repatriation to the UK so that he could be assisted in a medical facility”.
Sandford faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fines for each of the charges.