LONDON: Authorities say a man who climbed over a wall and got into the grounds of Buckingham Palace while Queen Elizabeth II was at home is a convicted murderer.
Dennis Hennessy, 41, pleaded guilty to trespass on Friday after scaling a perimeter wall of the palace and then asking if the monarch was at home, the BBC reported.
He was arrested in the palace grounds on Wednesday evening. Police say he was not armed.
Prosecutor Tom Nicholson told the court that Hennessy walked around the gardens for about 10 minutes toward the palace before being arrested. As he was detained he asked “is Ma’am in?” — the courtesy term used for the queen.
Prosecutors said Hennessy was on parole after being convicted of the murder of a homeless man in 1992.
In an interview with police, he said he had walked through the garden to enjoy the view.
Hennessy, who was convicted of murdering a homeless man in 1992, admitted one count of trespass on a protected site and one count of criminal damage and was jailed for four months, the BBC said.
The incident occurred hours after the queen had returned to the palace having earlier carried out the State Opening of Parliament.
“I am content that our security measures worked effectively on this occasion and at no time was any individual at risk,” Commander Adrian Usher, head of London police’s Royalty and Specialist Protection unit, said.
A spokesman for the queen said the palace did not comment on security issues.
There have been a number of security breaches at the palace over the years. In October 2013 a man armed with a knife tried to enter the palace through one of its gates and was later jailed for 16 months.
That took place just a month after two men were arrested following a break-in at the palace in one of the most serious security breaches there for about 30 years.
One of the biggest security breaches at Buckingham Palace happened in 1982 when an intruder, Michael Fagan, climbed a wall and wandered into a room where the queen was in bed.