A man arrested at Westminster Hall after trying to access Elizabeth II’s coffin wanted to check if she was really dead as Britons exposed her to pay their last respects, a judge said Tuesday.
On Friday, Muhammad Khan, 28, stood in long queues through London to access the remains of the sovereign, who died on September 8 at the age of 96.
As soon as he entered Westminster Hall, where she lay, he left the carpet in the direction of the catafalque, and seized with both hands a cloth which covered the coffin.
He was quickly arrested by police and appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday on two counts of disturbing the public peace.
The defendant “suffers from depression and thinks the Queen isn’t dead,” Judge Michael Snow said, “He thinks King Charles has something to do with it and he thinks he might go to Windsor Castle to pay his respects. He thinks she’s alive.”
The judge did not interrogate Mohammad Khan, who was considered by doctors to be unfit to participate in the trial. He confirmed his name, date of birth, address and intervened once.
“The defendant said the Queen was not dead and that he approached the coffin because he wanted to check on himself,” said Luke Staton, prosecuting.
“She said she wanted to go to the funeral,” he added, adding, “I plan to write to the Royal Family and if they don’t respond, I plan to visit Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and Balmoral to try and talk to the Queen”.
“I had to break down to try to communicate,” Mr Khan told the court, adding that he would have tried “as long as I was alive”.
Muhammad Khan was released on bail on condition that he remain in a psychiatric hospital in east London until he reappears in the same court on October 18.
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