Sheffield student ‘carrying knife’ at Buckingham Palace is sectioned

Queen Elizabeth II at the gates at Balmoral. Pic: PA
Queen Elizabeth II at the gates at Balmoral. Pic: PA

A Sheffield student accused of possessing a folded knife near Buckingham Palace has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Hang Zhang, 25, of Hawley Street, Sheffield, was arrested on Friday and charged with possession of an offensive weapon, after being found near the South-Centre pedestrian gate of the palace in London.

After appearing in court in London at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, he was released on conditional bail on the grounds he would be returned to Sheffield where he will stay at a mental health facility until his next court appearance.

The Sheffield University student, a Chinese national, was sectioned under Section Two of the Mental Health Act following an assessment by West London Mental Health Trust.

Zhang was arrested by police at the entrance to the palace at about 2.45pm on Friday and appeared in court on Tuesday for the first time before Wednesday’s latest hearing.

Speaking through a Mandarin interpreter, Mr Zhang denied that he lived at the address given to the court.

He was told he must stay on the Burbage Ward at the Michael Carlisle Centre, an inpatient mental health facility in Sheffield, until his next appearance at court.

He smiled and looked upwards as he confirmed he understood the conditions and shook the interpreter’s hand as he left the dock.

The Queen was not believed to have been inside Buckingham Palace at the time of the incident on Friday.

The alleged break-in on Friday is the fourth security alert at the royal home in London since May.

Earlier on last week, another man was arrested in the grounds of Buckingham Palace after being spotted by officers who were watching CCTV.

Zhang’s case was adjourned until September 14.