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Man admits threatening to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II

A man who was arrested in the grounds of Windsor Castle carrying a crossbow on Christmas Day 2021, and telling police he was planning to kill late Queen Elizabeth II, has pleaded guilty to treason.

Jaswant Singh Chail, who is of Sikh (Indian) heritage, claimed his actions were in revenge for the 1919 Amritsar massacre in which the British killed almost 400 Indian men, women and children.

Appearing at the Old Bailey via video link from Broadmoor secure hospital, Mr Chail 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 and possessing an offensive weapon.

It can now be revealed that prior to the incident, Mr Chail had made an attempt to join the Ministry of Defence with the intention of getting close to members of the Royal Family.

The 21-year-old from Southampton was detained by Royal protection officers close to Queen Elizabeth’s private apartment just after 8am on Christmas Day 2021.

He had gained access to the castle by scaling the walls using a nylon rope ladder and was spotted walking slowly through the grounds of the castle wearing a mask with a hood over his head.

When confronted by police, he told officers: “I am here to kill the Queen”.

Officers also found a handwritten note on his person, 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”.

At the time of his arrest, the crossbow was primed to fire and he was close to the entrance of the late Queen’s private residence in Windsor with a clear line of sight.

In 2021, Queen Elizabeth had been spending Christmas at Windsor rather than Sandringham, as was traditional, due to concerns over the spread of the new Covid variant.

Following his arrest, police searched Mr Chail’s home where 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.”

This video had been distributed to at least 20 other people and led to his family notifying the authorities when they received that video

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.

Mr Chail is the first person in more than 40 years to be convicted of an offence of treason.

The last person convicted under the Treason Act 1842 was Marcus Sarjaent, who was sentenced to five years imprisonment in 1981 after pleading guilty to firing blank shots at the Queen during the Trooping of the Colour.

He is due to be sentenced at a later date.

Writing by Abdullahi Lamino; Editing by Tony Okerafor