Marcus Sarjeant - Background


Sarjeant, who was from Capel-le-Ferne, near Folkestone, Kent, went to Astor Secondary School in Dover. He was a member of the Scouts, becoming local patrol leader before leaving to join the Air Training Corps in 1978. In the ATC, Sarjeant won a marksman's badge, and he owned an air rifle. After leaving school in May 1980 with seven CSE passes, Sarjeant applied to join the Royal Marines but could not accept the discipline and left after three months, claiming that officers bullied him. He also tried to join the Army but stayed only for two days of an induction course.

After failed applications to join the police and the fire service he worked at a zoo and at an arts centre in Folkestone. Under the Youth Training Scheme he worked at a youth centre in Hawkinge. Friends reported that in October 1980 Sarjeant joined the Anti Royalist Movement. At the time of his attack on the Queen he was unemployed and living with his mother (his father was working abroad).

He tried unsuccessfully to find ammunition for his father's .455 revolver, and to get a gun licence of his own; he joined a local gun club. Through mail order he paid £66.90 for two blank-firing replica Python revolvers. In the run-up to the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony, Sarjeant sent letters to two magazines, one of which included a picture of him with his father's gun. He also sent a letter to Buckingham Palace which read "Your Majesty. Don't go to the Trooping the Colour ceremony because there is an assassin set up to kill you, waiting just outside the palace". The letter arrived on 16 June.

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