THE Havant father of a British protester who allegedly tried to kill Donald Trump plans to visit his son in the United States.
Paul Davey told of his intention to travel to America as he insited Michael Sandford is a ‘quiet and insular’ boy and claimed he was ‘put up to do it or blackmailed’.
Paul Davey, the father of 20-year-old Michael Sandford, said his son was so disinterested in politics he wouldn’t be able to name any UK politicians ‘apart from the prime minister’ – and wouldn’t even be able to name the President of the USA.
Mr Davey, 50, said he had no idea why his son would attempt to shoot the billionaire presidential candidate.
Sandford was arrested while trying to grab a policeman’s gun at a Trump rally in Las Vegas.
He has been charged with an act of violence in a restricted area.
Sandford had reportedly tried to seize the gun and said he wanted to shoot the US presidential candidate.
Mr Davey said he and Sandford’s family told American authorities they were worried about him, but they did not act upon it.
He said Sandford moved to New Jersey around 15 months ago after meeting an American girl in the UK.
Sandford, who suffered from Asperger’s and osessive compulsive disorder, moved out from Dorking, Surrey, to a flat nearby and met the girl.
She moved back to the USA and Sandford became depressed, so his family gave him money so he could get a flat in New Jersey and continue seeing her.
Mr Davey and Sandford’s mother, who are separated, spoke to him often but he showed no indication that he would attempt to shoot Trump.
Mr Davey said his family are ‘absolutely devastated’ and have not spoken to him since the incident.
Speaking from his home in Havant, Mr Davey said: ‘Over the last three months it was hard to get any information out of him and he seemed upset, but he wouldn’t tell us why.
‘We thought he was still in New Jersey so obviously when the embassy phoned us up and told us what happened 2,500 kilometres away we didn’t know anything about it.
‘We haven’t been able to speak to him and we’ve had little communication with the authorities.
‘Looking back, I don’t want to use the term radicalised but we don’t know who he has been speaking with – this just isn’t him.
‘It’s an absolute shock, he’s never been violent in the slightest. He’s always been a polite and peaceful boy.
‘It’s totally out of character and we’re worried about what has happened to him since he’s been in America because obviously it’s a dramatic change.
‘Whether he’s been blackmailed or put up to it, that’s the only thing me and his mum can think of. It’s so against his nature and obviously with his Asperger’s, we think somebody has got hold of him and done something.’
Mr Davey said the incident could have been a ‘cry for help’.
He added: ‘He has never mentioned Donald Trump, the reason it is such a shock is because he shows no interest in anything like that.
‘If I asked him to name the Prime Minister he’d be able to tell me but he wouldn’t know any other politicians. I doubt he would even know who the President of the United States is.
‘He would never pull the trigger of the gun if it came to it. In the time leading up to it he was not hostile when we spoke to him, just a little sad.’