A former supermarket worker has appeared in court charged under the Treason Act after allegedly carrying a loaded crossbow into the grounds of Windsor Castle “to kill the Queen”.
Jaswant Singh Chail, 20, was held on Christmas Day last year close to the Queen’s private residence, with a line of sight to her apartments, where she was at the time.
He was allegedly wearing a hood and a mask and carrying a crossbow loaded with a bolt with the safety catch off and ready to fire.
Chail, from Southampton, Hampshire, is said to have told a protection officer: “I am here to kill the Queen,” before he was handcuffed and arrested, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.
He appeared by video-link from Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital in Berkshire on Wednesday charged with an offence under Section 2 of the Treason Act, possession of an offensive weapon and making threats to kill.
Chail, wearing a dark jacket over a black top, sat at a table with his arms folded during the hearing, speaking to confirm his name, date of birth and current address at Broadmoor.
The most serious charge under the Treason Act states 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”.
A separate charge alleges Chail made “a threat intending that the other would fear that it would be carried out to kill a third person, namely Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second”.
A third charge states he had “an offensive weapon, namely a loaded crossbow” in a public place.
Chail was not asked to enter pleas to any of the charges and Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring remanded him in custody ahead of his next appearance at the Old Bailey on September 14.
The court heard Chail had previously applied to join the Ministry of Defence Police and the Grenadier Guards, in a bid to get close to the royal family.
Prosecutors allege he sought revenge against the establishment for the treatment of Indians, and had sent a video to some 20 people claiming he was going to attempt to assassinate the Queen.
Chail, who was unemployed at the time but previously worked for a branch of the Co-op supermarket, was allegedly spotted in the grounds of Windsor Castle at about 8.10am on Christmas Day.
The Supersonic X-Bow weapon he is said to have been carrying had the potential to cause “serious or fatal injuries”, said prosecutor Kathryn Selby.
She said the allegations were not being treated as a “terrorism offence” but had been dealt with by the Counter-Terrorism Division.
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.
He had fired blank shots at the Queen while she was riding down The Mall in London during the Trooping the Colour parade in 1981.
The last person to be convicted under the separate and more serious 1351 Treason Act was William Joyce, also known as Lord Haw-Haw, who collaborated with Germany during the Second World War.