British man Michael Sandford jailed over plot to shoot Donald Trump secretly returns to UK

Fiona Simpson
Back home: Michael Sandford has reportedly returned to the UK five months into his jail term: AP Photo/John Locher

A British man jailed after attempting to grab a policeman’s gun and shoot Donald Trump during a campaign rally has quietly returned to the UK via Heathrow airport.

Michael Sandford, 20, attempted to snatch the weapon at a Las Vegas casino where Mr Trump was addressing supporters in the run-up to the US election in June last year.

Sandford, who has autism, was jailed for 12 months in December.

But he flew back to the UK on Thursday, months before his sentence was expected to end, according to the Independent.

Family photo: Lynne Sandford and her son Michael (PA Wire)

It is believed he was met at Heathrow airport by his parents Lynne and Paul shortly after 11am.

Sandford, from Dorking, Surrey, told officers after his arrest that his plan was to shoot the now US president.

According to court documents, Sandford told a policeman at the rally that he wanted Mr Trump's autograph before he attempted to seize the officer's gun.

He was tackled by officers and frogmarched from the venue.

During a police interview, when asked why he attempted to grab the weapon, Sandford replied: "To shoot and kill Donald Trump," court records show.

Speaking before his sentencing, Sandford’s mother Lynne, said her son feared Mr Trump may "choose to make an example of him".

She said: “Michael is terrified. He phoned me 15 times through the night with severe anxiety over what the judge is going to say to him and the sentence he will be given.

"Michael is afraid that because Donald Trump is now president-elect, it may have some bearing on the judge's sentencing."

She also told reporters that her son had been on suicide watch prior to being sentenced.

The family launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise £10,000 to pay legal costs to bring their son back to the UK.

A Home Office spokeswoman told the Standard they could not comment on individual cases.