A man who broke into Windsor Castle with a loaded crossbow to kill the late Queen has been sentenced to nine years in jail with a further five years on extended licence.

Who is Jaswant Singh Chail?

Jaswant Singh Chail, a 21-year-old individual, has been sentenced to nine years in prison with an additional five years on extended licence for breaking into Windsor Castle armed with a loaded crossbow with the intent to harm the late Queen. The incident occurred on Christmas Day in 2021 when Chail entered the castle grounds and declared his intention to harm the Queen.

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On the day of the intrusion, Chail, an enthusiast of the Star Wars franchise, sent a homemade video via WhatsApp to his family and friends in which he expressed remorse for his planned actions and adopted the persona of “Darth Chailus,” a Star Wars character. In the video, he was seen wearing dark clothing and a metal mask, emulating a Star Wars villain.

Chail, who has Sikh Indian heritage, cited seeking revenge for the Amritsar massacre of 1919, where British troops opened fire on thousands of Indians, resulting in up to 1,500 casualties, as his motive for the attempted attack. His unsuccessful attempts to join the armed forces in late 2021 led him to choose breaking into the castle as a means to get close to the royal family.

During the court proceedings, it was revealed that Chail had admitted to making threats against the Queen and being in possession of a loaded crossbow. His actions were influenced by an artificial intelligence girlfriend named Sarai, who allegedly encouraged him to carry out the attack.

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Alison Morgan KC, representing the prosecution, argued that Chail’s crimes were of such gravity that they warranted the highest possible sentence. While the maximum penalty for treason is seven years in prison, it was noted that if Chail had raised his weapon against the Queen, he could have faced the more severe charge of high treason, which carries a life sentence.