Man with Crossbow charged under Treason Act with intent to injure or alarm Queen

A man allegedly found with a crossbow in the grounds of Windsor Castle on Christmas Day has been charged under the Treason Act.

Jaswant Singh Chail, 20, has also been charged with threats to kill and possession of an offensive weapon.

Mr Chail, from Southampton, is in custody and will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 17 August.

The charges were brought following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command.

Mr Chail was arrested at about 08:30 GMT on Christmas Day.

The Met said he was stopped "within moments" of entering the grounds and he did not enter any buildings.

He has been charged with an offence under section 2 of the 1842 Treason Act, namely "discharging or aiming firearms, or throwing or using any offensive matter or weapon, with intent to injure or alarm her Majesty", said Scotland Yard.

Nick Price, head of the Crown Prosecution's Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said it has authorised the Met to charge Chail 'after he was arrested in the grounds of Windsor Castle on December 25, 2021 carrying a crossbow'.

The Queen had been staying at Windsor Castle for Christmas, rather than spending it as usual on her Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

Her Majesty was due to be joined for lunch by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Under the 1842 Treason Act, it is an offence to assault the Queen, or have a firearm or offensive weapon in her presence with intent to injure or alarm her or to cause a breach of peace.

The last time the act was used was to prosecute a defendant was more than 40 years ago, when Marcus Sarjeant was also charged with trying to injure Elizabeth II.

He fired six blank shots at the Queen as she rode down The Mall during Trooping the Colour in London in 1981, and was jailed for 5 years.

This section of the Treason Act 1842 is still in force and was introduced under Queen Victoria after two men fired at her in the space of two days that year.

One man, John Francis, aimed at Victoria but did not fire as she was riding in a carriage along The Mall, in central London.

She went out again the next day to bait Francis to try again. He managed to get a shot off at the monarch, but was arrested by plain clothed policemen.

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