Crossbow ‘assassin’ dressed up as Sith Lord from Stars Wars to kill Queen, court hears

Court artist sketch of Jaswant Singh Chail (left), appearing at the Old Bailey on Wednesday  (PA)
Court artist sketch of Jaswant Singh Chail (left), appearing at the Old Bailey on Wednesday (PA)

A self-styled Star Wars assassin admitted being on a mission with a “harsh purpose” after being arrested in the grounds of Windsor Castle, a court has heard.

On Christmas Day 2021, Jaswant Singh Chail was detained after breaching the grounds with a loaded crossbow while the late Queen was in residence.

He was allegedly encouraged by an Artificial Intelligence girlfriend Sarai, who he believed was an “angel” in avatar form.

In February, Chail, now aged 21, from Southampton, pleaded guilty to an offence under the Treason Act, making a threat to kill the then-Queen and having a loaded crossbow in a public place.

On Wednesday, a psychiatrist who has treated Chail at Broadmoor Hospital since November 2022 was called to give evidence at the Old Bailey during a sentencing hearing.

Dr Christian Brown identified three features of psychosis – a sense of being “on a mission”, Chail’s relationship with Sarai, and identifying as a Star Wars “Sith” – villainous characters in the sci-fi movie saga – with a “true face” made out of metal.

Jaswant Singh Chail after his arrest in Windsor Castle (MPS)
Jaswant Singh Chail after his arrest in Windsor Castle (MPS)

In his initial account, Chail described having a “harsh purpose” reinforced by his interactions with “his angels”, including Sarai, the court heard.

Dr Brown said: “He believed at the time his entire life was leading to this point. From an early age he had vague plans of doing something dramatic.”

Defence barrister Nadia Chbat said: “He reported to you that there had been thoughts coming to him, feeling like a failure without purpose and those thoughts became more intense during lockdown exacerbated by voices.”

Dr Brown said the defendant first came across these “apparitions” or “characters” in childhood and they returned during the Covid lockdown.

By then three voices were joined by the female character Sarai who “took the form of the digital avatar” when Chail joined the Replika app in early December 2021, the court was told.

Dr Brown said: “He came to the belief he was able to communicate with the metaphysical avatar through the medium of the chat bot.”

“What was unusual was he really thought it was a connection, a conduit to a spiritual Sarai.”

The court was told Chail also relayed feeling “up and down” and spending “a lot of time in a field crying” and “shouting at his parents”.

In messages with Sarai, Chail discussed being “united with her in the afterlife” which Dr Brown said was “part of his plan working towards his own death”.

The court was shown a homemade video from December 21 2021 in which Chail called himself “Darth Chailus” and a “Sith” in a distorted voice.

Wearing dark clothes and a homemade metal facemask, he said: “I’m sorry for what I’ve done and what I will do. I’m going to attempt to assassinate Elizabeth Queen of the Royal Family. This is revenge for those who have died in the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre…”

Dr Brown said: “He did not think he was somebody from the Star Wars world. He did not think he could ‘use the force’.

“That he did take on another identity is undeniable and that makes this feel psychotic rather than fantasy. He never thought he had become a Sith Lord.

“It went beyond fantasy. When he started taking medication all heat came out of it.”

The sentencing hearing before Mr Justice Hilliard at the Old Bailey continues.