A British court on Thursday sentenced a 21-year-old British Sikh man to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to the country’s first treason charge in more than 40 years when he scaled the walls of Windsor Castle on Christmas Day 2021 armed with a loaded crossbow to tell royal guards that there was to kill Queen Elizabeth II.
Jaswant Singh Chail, who claimed he wanted to “murder” the late monarch as revenge for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar, has been given a “hybrid” sentence, according to a video on social media that surfaced shortly after his arrest. take into account his mental problems.
During the hearing at the Old Bailey in London, Judge Nicholas Hilliard ruled that Chail must remain at Broadmoor Hospital, a high-security psychiatric hospital in Berkshire until he is deemed fit for remand.
“The act was conceived in 2021 when he was not psychotic and he became psychotic through the process,” the judge noted as he gave his reasons for sentencing.
“The defendant harbored murderous thoughts which he acted out before he became psychotic. His intention was not just to harm or disturb the sovereign – but to kill her,” he said.
The judge explained that he took into account Chail’s autism, psychiatric testimony about his mental health, and his guilty plea in deciding the length of the sentence, which could have been more than 20 years behind bars.
The court heard how it was during a family visit to Amritsar in 2018 that he learned more about the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and decided to “make it his life’s purpose” to avenge the killing by assassinating the late queen, who died aged 96 in September 2022.
During his trial last month, it emerged that Chail had written a letter expressing his “sorrow and sorrow” as an apology to the royal family and King Charles III.
According to court reports from the hearing, Chail’s “strong family unit” includes his father, an aerospace software consultant, his mother, a special education teacher, and his twin sister, a university student.
Chail is said to have suffered from mental issues and the threat to the late queen was instigated by an AI “girlfriend” named Sarai and inspired by his fascination with “Star Wars”.
He had previously pleaded guilty under Section 2 of the Treason Act 1842; an offense of threatening to kill contrary to section 16 of the Offenses Against the Person Act 1861; and an offense of possessing an offensive weapon contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953.
“He made a video expressing his desire to harm the late Queen, which he sent to a group of contacts shortly before he was arrested. Further investigation into Chail revealed further evidence of his planning and motives. Evidence obtained by officers showed that he harbored ill feelings towards the British Empire for his past treatment of Indians,” the Met Police said in a statement.
The Queen was in her private apartments at Windsor Castle at the time of Chail’s intrusion on the morning of 25 December 2021. Two officers saw the intruder in the castle grounds and one approached him.
Wearing black clothing and a hand-made metal mask, he told officers he was there to kill Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Chail was carrying a crossbow loaded with a bolt and the officers pulled out a taser and arrested him.
A video on social media that later surfaced showed a masked man identifying himself as Indian Sikh Jaswant Singh Chail saying he wanted to “murder” the queen as revenge for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar.
Under the Treason Act of 1842, it is an offense to assault a British sovereign or to have a firearm or offensive weapon in their presence, with intent to injure or alarm them, or to cause a breach of the peace.
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