"I will try to assassinate Queen Elizabeth," Jaswant Singh Chail, 20, said before climbing the walls of Windsor Castle. He has conceded his guilt and will now stand trial under a 180-year-old law.
Chail has pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey Criminal Court to three counts, including an offense under the Treason Act 1842, which punishes attempts to assault the monarch or carry a weapon with the intent to alarm or harm him. His will be the first conviction for this offense in the UK since 1981.
On December 25, 2021, Southampton resident Chail scaled one of the walls of Windsor Castle with the aim of injuring or scaring Queen Elizabeth II with a Supersonic X-Bow type crossbow. He says he wanted revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which took place in 1919 in India, and for the treatment of Indians during British colonization.
Instead of celebrating Christmas at Sandringham Manor in Norfolk, as was her tradition, the monarch was in Windsor with her eldest son, then-Prince Charles, daughter-in-law Camilla, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and other close relatives when Chail attempted his attack. Since the start of the pandemic, this castle had become the habitual residence of Elizabeth II.
The accused is charged with treason for carrying a loaded weapon "with the intent to use it to injure the person of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II or to alarm her." He is also accused of threatening to kill the sovereign, who died on September 8, 2022, and of having an assault weapon in a public place.
Jaswant Singh Chail, who identifies himself as a Sikh, scaled the perimeter of the castle using a rope and was soon located by an officer who asked if he could "help" him. It was then that he proclaimed the assassination attempt on him, which he repeated already kneeling and with his hands on his head, offering no resistance.
Today the prosecution has alleged that Chail, who has testified by video link from the high-security psychiatric hospital in Broadmoor, had sent a video to about 20 people announcing that he was going to try to assassinate the queen. The young man has only spoken to confirm his name and effectively declare his guilt.
In that video, which he sent minutes before entering the castle grounds, Chail is seen with a crossbow and dressed in a black hoodie and gloves on the castle grounds, west London, at around 8am. on Christmas Day 2021. Hidden by a mask, he is heard saying: "I'm sorry for what I've done and what I'm going to do. I will try to assassinate Queen Elizabeth."
As announced by Nick Price, head of the special crime and terrorism division of the Crown Prosecution Service, Chail also faces a charge of threatening to kill under section 16 of the Offenses Against the Persons Act 1861. ) and possession of an offensive weapon under section one of the Crime Prevention Act (1953).
The defendant is expected to be sentenced at the same Old Bailey Criminal Court on March 31.