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Armed Palace intruder 'wanted to quiz Queen on benefits'

By Lauren Turner

A man armed with a six-inch kitchen knife who was rugby-tackled to the ground by police outside Buckingham Palace wanted to see the Queen after his benefits were cut, a court has heard.

David Belmar admitted trespass and possession of a knife at Westminster Magistrates' Court yesterday.

The 44-year-old from Haringey, north London, was watched by a crowd of around 20 tourists as he tried to run through the palace's north centre gate just before 11.30am on Monday.

When police searched Belmar after bringing him to the ground, they found the kitchen knife wrapped in a plastic bag in his jacket pocket.

Edward Aydin, prosecuting, told the court: "In police custody, he said to police 'I wanted to see the Queen. I'm not happy about my benefits'."

He added that Belmar, who has mental health issues which he is taking medication for, has a fixation with the Queen and received a caution in 1989 for lighting fireworks and throwing them into the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

The Queen was not in the building at the time of the incident, Buckingham Palace said.

District Judge Quentin Purdy adjourned sentencing so that pre-sentence reports could be carried out.

He remanded Belmar in custody until he is sentenced at Southwark Crown Court at a date yet to be set.

Robert Katz, defending, denied Belmar has a fixation with the Queen or Buckingham Palace, as it was claimed.

District Judge Purdy said of Belmar: "He is a danger not just to himself but to others."

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