AN armed intruder who scaled a Buckingham Palace fence has escaped jail.
Cameron Kalani, 44, entered the Royal Mews – which houses the royal family's horses – with an eight-inch blade in the early hours of May 10 last year.
He was arrested after climbing back into Buckingham Palace Road with the kitchen knife and drugs in his bag.
Kalani pleaded guilty to trespassing on a protected site, possession of a bladed article and possession of a wrap of cocaine.
But he was spared being thrown behind bars, instead being handed a 24-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, at Westminster Magistrates' Court.
Deputy District Judge Roy Brown told him: "Behave yourself and you won't go to prison."
He added that Kalani was "very fortunate" not to have been killed by police when he climbed over the fence into the Royal Mews at around 4.30am.
"It is just good luck and good fortune that neither you nor anyone else was either seriously injured or killed in the course of your escapade in May last year," he said.
"The police were extremely restrained in the way they behaved with you in the face of an ongoing threat."
Prosecutor Alexander Alawode told the court Kalani was captured trespassing on the grounds on CCTV before being detained 10 minutes later.
"He seemed very confused," he added.
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The court heard friends described Kalani as a talented wildlife photographer with a keen interest in mathematics and physics who has never shown any interest in the royal family.
In his basis of plea he said he had travelled to London from his home in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, while in a state of psychosis in a bid "to be arrested".
Kalani, who was supported in court by his mother and aunt, said he had packed his bag with a knife in an envelope and the drugs, only scaling the fence after seeing a sign reading: "Do not climb."
"I did not know the fence was attached to or formed part of the Buckingham Palace estate," he said.
"My sole intention was to be arrested. I did not seek to do anyone harm or damage any property."
Ben Lay, defending, said his client was in a "severe mental health crisis, an episode of psychosis" at the time of the offences.
"In that state, Mr Kalani's only intention was to get help and thought the best way to do this was to get arrested."
The judge said he did not accept Kalani had carried the knife and drugs "simply to get arrested", adding: "There are easier locations to attend if you want to draw the attention of the police."
But he added: "Your behaviour at that time was largely due to your psychiatric state."
As part of Kalani's suspended sentence, he must attend a 30-day rehabilitation programme and cannot enter the SW1A postal area. He was also ordered to pay £213 costs.
The incident was one of a string of security scares on royal property last year.
In April, a 44-year-old woman who claimed she was engaged to Prince Andrew was let onto the grounds by bungling security staff.
And the following month, a couple were arrested after they climbed a wall at Windsor near where the Queen walks her corgis and Andrew lives.
Then on Christmas Day, Jaswant Singh Chail allegedly threatened to assassinate the Queen with a crossbow in a chilling video he posted online 24 minutes before he was found on Palace grounds just 500 metres from the Queen's apartments.
He claimed the attack was revenge for the 1919 Amritsar Massacre in Punjab, India, when British colonial troops opened fire on protestors, killing 379 and wounding around 1,000.
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