Windsor Castle crossbow intruder admits treason for threat to kill the Queen
An intruder armed with a deadly crossbow in the grounds of Windsor Castle who issued the chilling threat "I am here to kill the Queen" has pleaded guilty to treason.
Jaswant Singh Chail, 21, armed himself with a loaded Supersonic X-Bow weapon as he scaled the perimeter wall of the Royal residence on Christmas Day 2021.
The Queen was at home as Chail, a former supermarket worker, roamed the grounds of Windsor Castle for around two hours before being spotted by Royal protection officers at 8.30am.
Confronted close to the late Monarch’s private apartment by soldiers from the Grenadier Guards, Chail, from Southampton, Hampshire, admitted: “I am here to kill the Queen”.
He had set out his plot in a Snapchat video filmed four days earlier, saying an attack was in revenge a 1919 massacre in India.
Appearing on videolink from maximum security Broadmoor Hospital, Chail pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to making a threat to kill the Queen, attempting to injure or alarm the Sovereign - contrary to Section 2 of the Treason Act 1842 - and having an offensive weapon.
He is due to be sentenced on March 31.
Before the incident, Chail – hooded and masked, brandishing the crossbow, and with his voice distorted – filmed a video setting out his plans.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what I’ve done and what I will do. I will attempt to assassinate Elizabeth, Queen of the Royal Family. This is revenge for those who have died in the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre”, he said.
“It is also revenge for those who have been killed, humiliated and discriminated on because of their race. I’m an Indian Sikh, a Sith. My name was Jaswant Singh Chail, my name is Darth Jones.”
At the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar, 379 peaceful protesters were killed and more than 1,000 injured when British troops opened fire on a crowd.
Chail also posted on Snapchat: “I’m sorry to all of those who I have wronged or lied to.
“If you have received this then my death is near. Please share this with whoever and if possible get it to the news if they’re interested.”
His Snapchat messages were sent to 20 contacts at just after 8am, just minutes before Chail was detained. It is understood he used a nylon rope ladder to get into the grounds of the Castle.
At a preliminary court hearing, prosecutor Kathryn Selby said a Royal protection officer saw Chail “walking slowly through the private grounds towards him”.
“He noticed that the defendant had a hood over his head and was wearing a mask”, she said, likening him to a Halloween character.”
When greeted by the officer, Chail said “I am here to kill the Queen.”
“The officer then realised the defendant was holding a crossbow”, Ms Selby said. “The officer drew his Taser and shouted at the defendant to drop the bow and drop to his knees.”
The Queen was at home with members of the Royal Family at the time, celebrating Christmas together.
Chail’s crossbow was found to be loaded and deadly, with the safety catch ‘off’.
It is said Chail had also previously applied to join the Ministry of Defence Police and the Grenadier Guards, in a bid to get close to the Royal family.
Chail has been receiving mental health treatment while in custody, with reporting restrictions covering details of the case.
He indicated his intention to plead guilty after a doctor assessed him as fit to stand trial.
He pleaded guilty to a charge which read: “On December 25 2021 at Windsor Castle, near to the person of the Queen, you did wilfully produce or have a loaded crossbow with intent to use the same to injure the person of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, or to alarm her Majesty”.
Chail also admitted possessing a loaded crossbow at Windsor, and making a threat to “kill Her Majesty, intending that Kashmir Chail and others would fear that the said threat would be carried out”.
Prosecutor Alison Morgan KC told the court Chail has shown “significant improvement in his condition as a result of treatment” while in custody.
She said Chail had taken a “large number of steps in planning and premeditation” prior to the incident at the Castle.
Doctors are expected to give evidence to the court on psychotic illness before Chail can be sentenced.
Nick Price, Head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said: “Chail entered the protected areas within Windsor Castle after making threats to kill Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Thankfully police officers intervened and nobody was hurt.
“This was a serious incident, but fortunately a rare one. We are grateful to all those who were involved in the investigation.”