Man who ‘threatened to kill Queen Elizabeth’ will stand trial next year

Court artist sketch of Jaswant Singh Chail - Elizabeth Cook/PA
Court artist sketch of Jaswant Singh Chail - Elizabeth Cook/PA

A man who was found carrying a crossbow in the grounds of Windsor Castle on Christmas Day is due to stand trial next March accused of threatening to kill Queen Elizabeth.

Jaswant Singh Chail is the first person in more than 40 years to be charged with offences under the Treason Act.

The 20-year-old from Southampton appeared at the Old Bailey via videolink on Wednesday morning for a brief hearing, but his case was adjourned to allow more evidence to be gathered.

Wearing a black hooded top, the defendant spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

A trial date of March 20 was set by the Judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, and the case is expected to last up to three weeks.

The defendant was detained in custody and a further hearing is expected to take place in December on a date yet to be fixed.

Mr Chail is charged with intending to injure or alarm the late Queen under Section 2 of the 1842 Act.

He is also accused of making threats to kill against the late Queen and possessing an offensive weapon.

Mr Chail grew up in Hampshire and at the time of his arrest was living with his parents - who are directors of an IT firm - and his twin sister at a house on a private estate in the village of North Baddesley.

The investigation was initially carried out by Thames Valley Police but was later handed to Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command because of the seriousness of the case.

He was charged by the Crown Prosecution Service in August following an eight-month investigation.