A Chinese PhD student who was arrested for plotting to kill the queen has appeared in court today (Mon) charged with sexual assault.
Hang Zhang, 27, was caught on Buckingham Palace grounds with a knife hidden inside his shoe in 2016.
He reportedly told arresting officers he ‘was on a mission to kill the queen’ but charges were dropped and he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Sheffield Crown Court today (Mon) heard how in October last year Zhang pulled a fellow student’s shorts down to her knees at the University of Sheffield.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been at a gym class, the court heard.
Zhang, who had been ‘loitering’ outside the university building, approached her and pulled her shorts down, the prosecutor said.
The court heard Zhang moved to the UK in 2015 to study for a doctorate in engineering.
Sentencing Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, sectioned the defendant under the Mental Health Act, saying he suffered from bipolar affective disorder.
Mr Richardson said: “You suffer from a particularly complex form of mental disorder. There was an episode in 2016 when you set to enter Buckingham Palace.
“You had at the time a knife. It’s tragic that someone so clever should be blighted by a serious mental disorder.
“This may well have ruined your life. Had there been no mental health element you would almost certainly be going to prison.”
Judge Richardson added: “The episode involving Her Majesty the Queen was bizarre and this is bizarre as well.”
Mr Richardson said he would be notifying the Secretary of State about the case and that Zhang would likely be sent back to China.
By Barnaby Kellaway