A British man who was jailed for trying to shoot Donald Trump has said he heard voices in his head saying: “Kill him”.
Michael Sandford, 21, attempted to snatch a policeman’s gun at a rally ahead of last year’s US presidential election.
Now back in the UK, after serving nearly five months of a year-long sentence, he has admitted he was suffering from auditory hallucinations at the time of the incident.
“They’d been coming on for a while and getting stronger and more frequent. At one point they were screaming at me,” he told The Sun.
“My friends had said Donald Trump needed to be stopped. They said he was going to destroy the country but it was the voices in my head which were telling me to kill him.
“Then one day I saw he was speaking in Las Vegas and I decided to drive there and do something myself.”
Sandford, who has autism, was diagnosed as having had a psychotic episode at the time of the incident, in June 2016.
But the 21-year-old was imprisoned in December after pleading guilty to charges of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and disrupting an official function.
Police learned that Sanford had visited a shooting range in Las Vegas where he had fired 20 rounds from a 9mm Glock pistol before the assassination attempt.
Sandford, who is now back home in with his family in Dorking, Surrey, said: “There were times when I thought I might never see them again.”
In December, his mum Lynne urged Donald Trump, then president-elect, to allow her son to return home amid fears he might extend his jail sentence or block his return to the UK.
He is now receiving regular medical help following the psychotic episode, which led to the assassination attempt.
“Deep down I knew there was something wrong but I tried to convince myself it was OK,” he said.
His mum Lynne had attempted to stop her son, who has been diagnosed with a range of mental health problems, from travelling to the US.
She is now campaigning for new laws to help the families of people with mental illness to protect them from self-inflicted damage.