The Daily Telegraph
Windsor crossbow intruder admits treason
Would-be assassin convicted of treason after castle mission to avenge 1919 Amritsar massacre
A man who has admitted treason after being caught in the grounds of Windsor Castle while masked and carrying a powerful crossbow had previously applied to join the Grenadier Guards in an attempt to get close to the Royal family. Jaswant Singh Chail – who appeared via videolink from Broadmoor highsecurity hospital – pleaded guilty to a charge of intending to injure or alarm the Queen under Section 2 of the 1842 Treason Act.
A MAN who has admitted treason after being caught in the grounds of Windsor Castle carrying a crossbow had previously applied to join the Grenadier Guards in an attempt to get close to the Royal family.
Jaswant Singh Chail, who was armed and wearing a mask and a hood, was apprehended by royal protection officers near the Queen’s private apartment just after 8am on Christmas Day 2021.
Challenged by an officer and asked what he was doing, the 21-year-old replied: “I am here to kill the Queen.”
In a video recorded four days before the incident, Chail, who is of Sikh origin, claimed his actions were in revenge for the 1919 Amritsar massacre in India, in which the British killed almost 400 Indian men, women and children.
Chail, an unemployed former supermarket worker, had previously tried to join the Grenadier Guards and had applied for a position with the Ministry of Defence.
In a journal found by police he stated that he had done this in an attempt to “come into close contact with members of the Royal family”.
Yesterday, during a hearing at the Old Bailey, Chail – who appeared via videolink from Broadmoor high-security hospital – pleaded guilty to a charge of intending to injure or alarm the Queen under Section 2 of the 1842 Treason Act.
He also admitted making threats to kill the monarch and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place. The incident prompted a review of royal security after it was revealed that Chail had a clear line of sight to the Queen’s apartment when he was apprehended.
The Supersonic X-bow weapon he was carrying, which prosecutors said could cause “serious or fatal injuries”, was primed and ready to fire.
In 2021 the late Queen had been spending Christmas at Windsor rather than Sandringham, as was traditional, because of concerns over the spread of the new Covid variant.
Chail is believed to have travelled from his home in Hampshire on Dec 23, staying in a hotel in Windsor, where police later discovered crossbow bolts and a metal file.
On Christmas morning 2021, he scaled the walls of Windsor Castle using a nylon rope ladder before wandering undetected in the grounds. Shortly after 8am he was spotted in the private part of the castle grounds close to the apartment where the Queen was staying and enjoying breakfast.
A uniformed officer from the Royalty and Specialist Protection Command saw Chail walking slowly towards him wearing a face mask and a hood. When asked what he was doing, Chail replied: “I am here to kill the Queen.”
The officer withdrew his Taser and told Chail to get down on the ground, which he did, putting his hands behind his head. He was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon and when he was searched officers discovered a handwritten note, which read: “Please don’t remove my clothes, shoes and gloves, masks etc, don’t want post mortem, don’t want embalming, thank you and I’m sorry.”
When detectives searched his home they discovered a pre-recorded video in which he said: “I am sorry, I am sorry for what I have done and what I will do. I’m going to attempt to assassinate Elizabeth Queen of the Royal Family.
“Revenge for those who died in the 1919 massacre. I am an Indian Sikh. My name was Jaswant Singh Chail. My name is Darth Jones.”
The video had been distributed to at least 20 other people in his contacts list around ten minutes before his arrest.
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 in a house on an 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.
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “This was an extremely serious incident, but one which the patrolling officers who apprehended Chail managed with great composure and professionalism. They showed tremendous bravery to confront a masked man who was armed with a loaded crossbow, and then detain him without anyone coming to harm.”
He is due to be sentenced on March 31.