Let my son come home, pleads mother of Briton held for 'trying to shoot Trump'
The mother of a Briton accused of trying to grab a policeman's gun in a bid to kill Donald Trump has pleaded for her son's return to the UK after he was placed on suicide watch in prison.
Lynne Sandford said she would not abandon her son Michael and a crowdfunding campaign was being launched to seek support for his legal costs in the US.
Her son, 20, allegedly tried to snatch the officer's weapon during a rally at a Las Vegas casino on June 18, later telling officials that his plan was "to shoot and kill Donald Trump".
He is due to face trial in Las Vegas next month after pleading not guilty to charges of disrupting government business and official functions and being an illegal alien in possession of a gun.
His mother, 41, from Dorking, Surrey, said she had spoken to her son once since he was detained. He had tried to call a number of times but faced technical problems.
She told the Press Association: "We were both quite choked. He's only just 20. He's the younger side of that. To be so far away from home for so long and to have not even heard our voices.
"At the moment, it's only been me who's been able to speak to him. His nan would have loved to, his sister would have loved to speak to him.
"It must be very distressing for him to know other prisoners can phone their families and yet every time he tries to phone us, he says he can't. Especially because he's on suicide watch and it's not helping him at all, in any shape or form, not being able to speak to his family when we're already half the world away."
Ms Sandford, who works a shop assistant, said she reassured her son that the family "haven't abandoned him".
She added: "He sounded just like Michael any other time I've spoken to him but he said, obviously, he's not in a good place physically at the detention centre, or mentally or emotionally.
"I keep reading that he's kept in handcuffs and shackles even behind bars which is just bizarre."
Ms Sandford said she was hopeful that her son, who has Asperger syndrome, would be allowed to return to the UK.
"The ideal would be to take get him back to the UK as fast as possible. It's down to the US authorities," she added.
"I'm very hopeful but the reality of that, who knows?"
Ms Sandford said a crowdfunding campaign to support her son's legal costs was to be launched on the website Crowd Justice.
"It's our fight to get him home and to try and raise funds for the legal team," she added.
Sandford is due to stand trial at a federal court in Las Vegas on August 22. A pre-trial hearing is set for August 11.