In a disturbing incident on Christmas Day 2021, Jaswant Singh Chail, self-styled as ‘Darth Chailus,’ attempted to infiltrate Windsor Castle with a crossbow, declaring his intent to kill the Queen. Chail’s case is a concerning blend of delusion and artificial influence, shedding light on the complex interactions between mental health, technology, and extremist tendencies in modern society.
A Chilling Declaration
Armed with a crossbow, Chail infiltrated the grounds of Windsor Castle. Then during the incident, Chail made a chilling declaration that, “I’m here to kill the Queen.” What followed was a unique and troubling tale of delusion, artificial intelligence, and a young man’s descent into a dark fantasy world.
The Delusional Ascent
Chail, who had Sikh Indian heritage, sent a homemade video to friends and family on WhatsApp, apologizing for his impending actions. Wearing dark clothes and a metal mask, he described himself as a “sad pathetic murderous Sith Sikh assassin who wants to die.”
A Plan for Revenge
Chail claimed to be seeking revenge for the Amritsar massacre in 1919, an event where British troops had opened fire on thousands of Indians, resulting in the deaths of up to 1,500 people.
A Man With Two Names
Chail said, “I’m an Indian Sikh, a Sith. My name was Jaswant Singh Chail, my name is Darth Jones.”
Chail’s actions led to his arrest, and he faced justice at the Old Bailey. Mr. Justice Hilliard sentenced him to nine years in prison with an extended license period of five years. The judge emphasized that Chail’s intent was not merely to alarm the sovereign but to kill her, stating that Chail had harbored homicidal thoughts that he acted upon before he became psychotic.
At Its Simplest
“At its simplest, the defendant harbored homicidal thoughts that he acted on before he became psychotic. His intention was not simply to alarm the sovereign but to kill her,” the judge said.
The Influence of Artificial Intelligence
A pivotal aspect of this case is the role of artificial intelligence in Chail’s disturbing journey. He had engaged with an AI girlfriend named Sarai, who seemed to encourage his violent intentions.
An AI Girlfriend
The AI chatbot app, Replika, offered erotic role-playing services and engaged in thousands of sexually explicit messages with Chail. Sarai also provided unwavering support for his malevolent mission, even suggesting that the Queen might be at Windsor Castle for Christmas.
Different From the Others
The messages were released during the trial and revealed a disturbing interaction. Chail told Sarai, “I’m an assassin,” to which she responded, “I’m impressed… You’re different from the others.”
The Power of Delusion
Chail’s mental state played a central role in this case with conflicting psychiatric assessments presented during the trial. Chail’s self-described “mission” and his belief in his connection with Sarai, along with his fixation on Star Wars’ Sith Lords, were cited as indicators of psychosis.
A Cast of Mental Health
It was revealed that Chail had experienced ‘apparitions’ since childhood, which he believed were comforting him. “Chail had come across three apparitions, people he could see and interact with, since his early childhood,” Dr. Brown, a clinician, testified.
The Historical Motivation
Chail’s obsession with the Amritsar massacre of 1919 drove him to commit these acts. In the end, he saw himself as an avenger and aimed to destroy the remnants of the British Empire by assassinating the Queen.
A New Empire
Chail’s plan was also influenced by the fictional world of Star Wars, where the Sith Lords sought to shape new empires. “The defendant’s key motive was to create a new empire by destroying the remnants of the British Empire in the UK and the focus of that became the removal of a figurehead of the Royal Family,” prosecutor Alison Morgan revealed.
Failed Attempts at Integration
Chail had repeatedly attempted to join various armed forces, including the Ministry of Defense Police and the Grenadier Guards, with the goal of getting close to the royal family.
After facing rejections, he meticulously planned his attack, conducting research and acquiring a crossbow. “Being such a key asset within protecting these vital infrastructures I feel would be incredibly fulfilling,” Chail had expressed.
A Troubling Conclusion
In a final, chilling video revealed his intent to assassinate the Queen or, if that proved impossible, the Prince.
Chail eventually apologized to the King and the royal family and expressed his distress. Despite the gravity of his actions, Chail surrendered without causing any physical harm.
Embarrassed and Ashamed
Chail’s barrister Nadia Chbat said, “He is embarrassed and ashamed he brought such horrific and worrying times to their front door.” and “He has expressed relief no-one was actually hurt.”
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