The mother of a British man who attempted to assassinate Donald Trump has said she fears her 'vulnerable' son will not survive a US prison.
Lynne Sandford, whose 20-year-old son Michael was arrested on 18 June after attempting to grab a gun from a policeman at a Trump rally in Vegas, said in a press conference on Tuesday (2 August) her son had been on suicide watch in the US and appealed for him to be returned to the UK.
"Michael is an autistic man who would not have foreseen the consequences of his actions," she said in a statement.
"Autistic adults can have the insight and behaviour of a small child. I accept that Michael has tried to do a bad thing but he is mentally ill and is not a bad or dangerous person.
"Michael is extremely vulnerable and I don't think he will survive being incarcerated in a US prison if he has to serve a sentence there.
"He has attempted suicide when he was 14 and has suffered from depression throughout his whole life. He has been on suicide watch in the US recently, which shows that my fears are real."
Sandford had been living in the US for a year and was reported missing by his worried family.
Having been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome as a teenager, Sandford suffered from depression and attempted suicide in his youth. He was sectioned under the mental health act aged 14 when he stopped eating and refused to get out of bed, his mother told The Guardian.
When Sandford, who had also developed OCD, told his family he wanted to travel to the US, his mother appealed to local mental health services and the GP to see if there was any way she could prevent him from travelling, but was told she could not.
Having not heard from her son for more than a month, Lynne Sandford only became aware of his whereabouts when she saw the story breaking on the news. She is now desperate for him to return to the UK.
"We want to try to bring him home to the UK to a secure place that will help him. We have launched a campaign to raise funds on the Proud Justice platform to pay for good legal representation," she added.
"He is in a really bad way, he is very emotionally fragile, very vulnerable, very frightened and very bewildered."