A British Sikh, caught with a crossbow on the grounds of Windsor Castle on Christmas Day 2021, was partly inspired to attack the late Queen by the Star Wars films, a London court heard.
Jaswant Singh Chail, 21, the self-styled ‘assassin’ who admitted a charge under the Treason Act in February, had described himself in a sinister video as characters in the films — “Sith” and “Darth Jones”, the Old Bailey court heard on Wednesday.
In a social media video that emerged soon after the incident, Chail, who identified himself as an “Indian Sikh”, said the attack on the late monarch was revenge for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre of Indians by British colonial troops.
According to The Independent, prosecutor Alison Morgan K.C. said that the “heart of the issue” was whether Chail was suffering from auditory hallucinations at the time “taking away his ability to exercise self-control”.
Morgan told the court that Chail demonstrated a wider ideology focused on destroying old empires spilling over into fictional events such as Star Wars.
“The defendant’s key motive was to create a new empire by destroying the remnants of the British Empire in the UK, and the focal point of that became the removal of the figurehead of the royal family.
“His thinking was informed partly by the fantasy world of Star Wars and the role of Sith Lords in shaping the world. He was attracted to the notoriety that would accrue in the event of the completion of his ‘mission’,” The Independent said citing Morgan.
During the hearing, it was told that he applied for jobs within the armed forces that could have led to a “close proximity” to the monarch.
He also wrote in a journal that if the Queen was “unobtainable” he would “go for” the prince as a “suitable figurehead”, in an apparent reference to King Charles.
According to reports, Chail had scaled the perimeter of the grounds with a nylon rope ladder, some two hours before his arrest.
He was wearing a hood and mask and was carrying a crossbow loaded with a bolt, with the safety catch off and ready to fire. The prosecution earlier told the court that the Supersonic X-Bow weapon he was carrying had the potential to cause “serious or fatal injuries”.
The Queen was in her private apartments at Windsor Castle at the time of the intrusion.
Chail’s sentencing, which had been due on Thursday, was postponed to a later date, yet to be confirmed. He was remanded into Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital.