British would-be Trump shooter was a ‘Robot Wars’ obsessive

Las Vegas police lead Michael Steven Sandford from Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign rally at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 18, 2016. © David Becker
Arrested on Saturday after attempting to grab a cop’s pistol at a Las Vegas Trump rally, Briton Michael Steven Sandford has been profiled as an Asperger’s syndrome-suffering ‘Robot Wars’ obsessive.

Sandford has reportedly bought robots used in the TV show, in which amateur teams battle it out with homemade fighting machine.

It is claimed he sold his collection in 2014 before he left his home in Surrey to travel to the US. Investigators want to know if the proceeds of the sale were used to fund his travels, the Telegraph reports.

The news comes as Sandford’s father, Paul Davey, told the paper he had raised concerns with US authorities over the 20 year old’s welfare. Sandford had gone to the US to be with a girlfriend, but had become increasingly hard to reach.

Images of his bedroom at his father’s home in Hampshire show a room wallpapered in camouflage and lined with toy guns.

Davey told the paper his son would “never harm a fly” and even suggested he may have been “put up” to killing Trump.

Sandford’s father said his son had no interest in politics and that he had “never shown any violent tendencies before, he’s never been a bad person, he’s a nice kid … he would never pull the trigger of the gun if it came to it.

John Findlay, an expert who worked on the Robot Wars show, said Sandford had been very active in the “robot community.

He went through a phase of buying a load of robots starting around five years ago, then he just disappeared,” he told the Telegraph.

I then got them working for him because he had absolutely no idea about robots. I believe he had some form of autism - Robot Wars attracts quite a lot of people with autism.

Sandford was held in custody by a US judge on Monday. His next hearing will be on July 5.