Convicted murderer charged with trespassing after scaling a wall to enter grounds of Britain's Buckingham Palace

Dennis Hennessy who was due to appear in court for trespassing a protected site had scaled a perimeter wall to enter the palace grounds.
Dennis Hennessy who was due to appear in court for trespassing a protected site had scaled a perimeter wall to enter the palace grounds. PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (Reuters) - A man with a conviction for murder pleaded guilty to trespass on Friday (May 20) after scaling a perimeter wall of Queen Elizabeth's Buckingham Palace and then asking if the monarch was at home, the BBC reported.

Dennis Hennessy, 41, climbed over the wall surrounding the Queen's home in central London on Wednesday night and walked for about 10 minutes around the grounds of the palace where 90-year-old Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip were staying.

Hennessy, who cut his hand scaling the wall, was arrested about 10 minutes later after an alarm was activated. Prosecutor Tom Nicholson said when detained by officers he repeatedly asked them "Is Ma'am in", the BBC reported.

In an interview with the 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.

The police said he had been arrested in the grounds of the palace on Wednesday night seven minutes after an alarm was activated.

"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 they 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.