UK man (20) accused of trying to shoot Trump admits lesser offences

Michael Sandford could have faced up to 20 years in jail if he had been convicted

UK man (20) accused of trying to shoot Trump admits lesser offences

Police remove Michael Sandford as Donald Trump speaks at the Treasure Island hotel and casino in Las Vegas | File photo: PA Images

A British man accused of trying to shoot Donald Trump at a Las Vegas rally has pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

Michael Sandford of Dorking, Surrey, appeared in court on Tuesday charged with trying to grab a policeman's gun to attack the Republican presidential candidate in June.

But he has pleaded guilty to being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and disrupting government business after an apparent plea deal.

Admitting the federal charges means he is expected to receive about two years in a US prison and deported.

"I tried to take a gun from a policeman to shoot someone with, and I'm pleading guilty," Sandford told a judge in Las Vegas.

The 20-year-old, who was arrested on June 18th after reaching for the gun in a 1,500-seat venue, could have faced up to 20 years in jail if he had been convicted at trial of both charges.

His mother, Lynne Sandford, and a lawyer arrived from London last weel and met with him in custody.

Mrs Sandford spoke to ITV News London earlier about the plea deal.

"I was very relieved that he signed it. It was a bit of a battle because he is quite headstrong.

"But we all laid the options out there for him on the table and, of course, it is a gamble," she said. 

Mrs Sandford has previously described her son as vulnerable, explaining he suffers from a number of mental health issues including autism, anxiety, depression and anorexia.

She says he would not have understood the consequences of his actions.