Man charged with attempting to grab Queen’s coffin ‘didn’t believe she was dead’


A man who appeared to approach the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall on Friday night did not believe she was dead, a court has heard.

Muhammad Khan, 28, reportedly left the line as the monarch lay in state while the live feed was briefly interrupted.

Mr Khan was arrested and appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday charged with two charges under the Public Order Act.

Prosecutor Luke Staton said Mr Khan was among about 250,000 people who came through the hall between 5pm on Wednesday and early Monday morning to pay their respects after queuing for hours along the banks of the River Thames.

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“The defendant had reached Westminster Hall. He was then seen by the officers present to approach the coffin,” he said.

“He stepped off the carpet toward the catafalque, then grabbed with both hands the Royal Standard flag draped over the coffin.”

The court heard that he was quickly apprehended, arrested and questioned by the police.

“The defendant expressed the idea that the Queen is not dead and that he approached the coffin because he wanted to check it himself,” Mr Staton said.

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“He did say, prior to the state funeral, that he planned to attend the funeral.

“He planned to write to the royal family and if they didn’t answer, he planned to go to Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and Balmoral to try and talk to the Queen.”

The court heard Mr Khan said that if he was unsuccessful, “I would have to transgress to try to make contact”, and when asked how many times he would try, he replied: “As long as I live.”

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The Queen’s casket is in state in Westminster Hall

(POOL/UKTN via Getty Images)

District Judge Michael Snow did not question Mr Khan, who was not represented by a lawyer, after doctors judged him as unfit to participate in the proceedings.

The court heard that he was delusional and the judge told him: “When you were in Westminster you did not accept that the Queen was dead and that is why you went to the coffin to convince yourself that she was.”

He added: “He still has delusions and thinks the Queen is not dead, thinks King Charles has something to do with it and maybe goes to Windsor Castle to pay his respects, but also because he still thinks that she’s still alive.”

Mr Khan spoke to confirm his name and date of birth and that he was staying at a friend’s address in Wood Green, north London, during the hearing.

Members of the public queuing at Potters Fields Park, central London, while waiting to see the Queen in state sometimes took over 24 hours

(PA wire)

The judge granted him bail on condition that he remains in a mental hospital in east London until his next appearance at the same court on October 18.

It comes after Mark Hague, 52, admitted a charge under Section 5 of the Public Order Act on Monday after being escorted from the queue at Victoria Tower Gardens on Saturday morning.

A mourner raised the alarm after Mr Hague said, “I’ll tell her to get out of her goddamn coffin because she’s not dead.”

The Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Hague was arrested after assaulting police officers and the public as he was led away from the scene.

Queen Elizabeth II’s casket, draped in a royal standard and decorated with the Imperial State Crown with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s Orb and Scepter, is depicted inside Westminster Hall

(Getty Images)

The Hague was fined £120, which was deemed to have been served for time spent in custody, but fined a further £120 for having been paroled for a previous attack on a rescuer.

Last week, Adio Adeshine, 19, was taken into custody on two charges of sexual assault and two charges of violating a sexual harm prevention order.

He is alleged to have exposed himself and pushed back in line at Victoria Tower Gardens on Wednesday.

Adeshine is said to have entered the River Thames in an attempt to evade police before coming out and being arrested.


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