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Man admits to trying to harm the Queen after being caught at Windsor Castle with crossbow

The incident occurred on Christmas Day 2021 when the Queen and the royal family were staying at Windsor Castle


windsor castle
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
3 February 2023
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A man has admitted trying to harm the Queen after being caught in the grounds of Windsor Castle with a loaded crossbow.

Jaswant Singh Chail, 21, pleaded guilty to three charges, including an offence under the Treason Act, during a hearing at the Old Bailey on Friday.

The most serious charge under Section Two of the Treason Act said that "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 the Second, or to alarm her Majesty".

He was also charged with making a threat to kill the late Queen and having a loaded crossbow, an offensive weapon, in a public place.

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On Christmas Day 2021, the Metropolitan Police responded to a security breach at around 8.30am within the grounds of Windsor Castle where the Queen and several other members of the royal family were spending the Christmas holidays.

He told a police protection officer, "I am here to kill the Queen", before he was handcuffed and arrested.

Jaswant Chail© Photo: Alamy

Court artist sketch of Jaswant Chail

It was understood that Chail, then aged 19, did not manage to break into any of the buildings inside the castle grounds before he was taken into police custody.

The investigation uncovered evidence of his planning and that he had been motivated by ill-feeling towards the British Empire.

Prosecutors allege he sought revenge against the establishment for the treatment of Indians, and had sent a video to about 20 people claiming he was going to attempt to assassinate the Queen.

The video was recorded four days earlier and sent to Chail’s contacts list about 10 minutes before his arrest.

Charles and Camilla on Christmas Day 2021© Photo: Getty Images

Charles and Camilla were among the royals staying with the Queen on Christmas Day 2021

Chail, who was charged on 2 August last year, had previously applied to join the Ministry of Defence Police and the Grenadier Guards, in a bid to get close to the royal family.

According to the prosecution, the Supersonic X-Bow weapon he was carrying had the potential to cause "serious or fatal injuries".

Chail, from Southampton, Hampshire, entered his guilty pleas before senior judge Mr Justice Jeremy Baker by video link from Broadmoor hospital.

Mr Justice Baker ordered Chail's treating doctor to compile a report on his "diagnosis, prognosis and if necessary disposal" by the end of February with a further report by another psychiatrist dealing with how dangerous Chail is.

The senior judge fixed a sentencing date at the Old Bailey for March 31.

In 1981, Marcus Sarjeant was jailed for five years after pleading guilty under the 1842 Treason Act, which makes it an offence to assault the Queen, or have a firearm or offensive weapon in her presence with intent to injure or alarm her or to cause a breach of peace.

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Additional reporting by PA.

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