LONDON (AP) — A man who entered the grounds of Windsor Castle armed with a crossbow told police he wanted to “kill the queen,” prosecutors told a hearing on Wednesday.
Jaswant Singh Chail, 20, is charged under the Treason Act with intending “to injure the person of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II or to alarm her Majesty”. He was also charged with death threats and possession of an offensive weapon.
Chail was arrested at the royal residence in west London on Christmas Day 2021, when the Queen was staying there.
Prosecutors allege the former supermarket worker from Southampton, southern England, wore a balaclava and mask and carried a loaded crossbow without the safety catch.
They say he told a policeman “I’m here to kill the queen”, before being handcuffed and arrested.
Prosecutor Kathryn Selby said the Supersonic X-Bow weapon allegedly carried by Chail had the potential to cause “serious or fatal injury”.
Prosecution lawyers argue Chail wanted revenge on the British establishment for his treatment of Indians and sent a video to around 20 people claiming he was going to murder the Queen.
To be closer to the royal family, he had tried to join the British army and the Ministry of Defense police, according to prosecutors.
Chail appeared remotely for Wednesday’s hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London from Broadmoor, a high security psychiatric hospital.
He was not asked to enter a plea and was held until his next court appearance on September 14.
The allegations against him are not being treated as a “terrorism offence”, Selby said.
Charges under the Treason Act 1842 are rare. In 1981, Marcus Sarjeant was charged under the law after shooting the Queen blank as she rode a horse in the Trooping the Color parade in London. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison.
The last person to be convicted under the separate and more serious Treason Act of 1351 was William Joyce, a World War II Nazi propaganda broadcaster known as Lord Haw-Haw. He was hanged for high treason in 1946.