A homeless man who broke into Buckingham Palace last month before falling asleep on a glass cabinet in Queen Elizabeth II’s London residence has been jailed for trespassing.
Steven Lawlor scaled metal railings to enter the grounds of the palace on July 16 and tore down poster boards and a display cabinet to use as bedding, Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London was told on Friday.
Security staff spotted the 44-year-old sleeping near the south-east corner of the palace on CCTV in the early hours of the day before he was arrested. The queen was not in residence at the time.
Lawlor, who appeared in court via video link and pleaded guilty to criminal damage and trespassing on a protected site, was jailed for 28 days for trespassing and 21 days for criminal damage, to be served concurrently.
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Deputy Senior District Judge Tan Ikram told him, “You knew where you were entering, you would know the impact in terms of security, the costs and consequences in relation to your actions. You have 70 previous convictions and this adds to your appalling catalogue of offending.”
Lawlor’s previous convictions are mostly for criminal damage and one attempted robbery last year. Most recently he was handed a 16-month sentence for throwing a toxic substance at a prison guard at Maid stone Crown Court in May.
Lawlor told the court he had picked his palace sleeping spot to “protect me from the road”. His lawyer, Stephanie Dale, said her client had drug abuse issues and was “sorry for causing anyone concern” but “his only intention was to sleep”.
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There have been a series of minor intrusions into the iconic London palace grounds in recent times, including in August last year when a 22-year-old man was arrested trying to climb a security fence and in December 2017 when a man aged 24 was caught attempting to scale a wall within the perimeter fence.