Man caught with crossbow at Windsor Castle said 'I'm here to kill the Queen'
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A man who was charged with treason after allegedly being caught breaking into the grounds of Windsor Palace with a crossbow has said he was there to 'kill the Queen'.
20-year-old Jaswant Singh Chail was arrested with a crossbow on Christmas Day last year and today told Westminster Magistrates Court his intention that day was attempting to kill Queen Elizabeth.
At the time he was arrested the Queen would have been present at Windsor Palace and celebrating the festive period with other members of the royal family.
Authorities caught him close to the Queen’s private residence and with a line of sight to her apartments, where she was at the time.
According to Scotland Yard, Chail was charged under section 2 of the Treason Act 1842, along with charges of making threats to kill and possession of an offensive weapon.
Before he was handcuffed and arrested Chail said 'I am here to kill the Queen', and the court has been told he was at the palace 'with intent to injure'.
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.
Originally from Southampton, former supermarket worker Chail appeared in court via video link as he is currently being held in Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital.
The court also heard he had previously attempted to join the Ministry of Defence, the Police and the Grenadier Guards in an effort to get close to members of the royal family.
Prosecutors allege that he was seeking revenge against the British establishment for the treatment of Indians, and they say he had sent a video to people claiming he was going to assassinate the Queen.
During his appearance in court he was not asked to enter a plea regarding any of the charges laid against him and he has been remanded in custody ahead of his next court appearance on 14 September.
Cases of treason are incredibly rare in the UK, and the last person jailed under the Treason Act 1842 was Marcus Sarjeant in 1981, who pleaded guilty to firing blank shots at the Queen during the 1981 Trooping of the Colour.
He was jailed for five years after entering in a guilty plea.
The last person executed for treason was fascist propagandist William Joyce, also known as 'Lord Haw-Haw'.
Arrested in Germany in the final days of the Second World War and put on trial for supporting the Nazis during the war, he was executed by hanging in 1946.
If Chail is found guilty he will not face the same punishment, as the Crime and Disorder Act of 1998 set the maximum sentence for treason as life imprisonment.
The punishment was even worse before the 19th century, as those found guilty of treason centuries ago were hanged, drawn and quartered.