Jaswant Singh Chail, the Indian-origin man who tried to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II after being brainwashed by his AI girlfriend, has been sentenced to nine years in prison by a UK judge.
Chail, who was just 19 years old at the time, scaled the wall of Windsor Castle on Christmas Day in 2021, armed with a loaded crossbow and wearing a metal face mask.
The things we do for love
His motives for the assassination attempt were fueled by his belief that it was his life’s mission. However, prosecutors argued that he had not decided to act on his thoughts until he shared them with his AI-generated “girlfriend,” named Sarai, whom he created on the Replika app.
Justice Nicholas Hilliard, who sentenced Chail on live television, noted that the now-21-year-old had lost touch with reality and had “become psychotic.” Hilliard emphasized that Chail’s “intention was not just to harm or alarm the sovereign—but to kill her.”
Chail was imprisoned in February, marking the first treason conviction in the UK in over four decades. He was sentenced under a “hybrid order,” meaning he will be held at a high-security psychiatric institution until he is deemed mentally stable enough to be transferred to a conventional prison to serve his nine-year sentence.
“Psychotic, delusional, and hallucinating.”
During the sentencing, it was revealed that psychiatrists had diagnosed Chail as “psychotic, delusional, and hallucinating.” Chail had applied to the British Army but was rejected, after which he developed the belief that he was a “Sith Lord” from the Star Wars franchise, leading to a significant shift in his perspective. His “lifelong interest in ‘Star Wars’ took on a different meaning,” as described by Hilliard.
Chail, born in the UK but of Indian Sikh heritage, appeared to be fixated on assassinating the late queen as an act of vengeance for the thousands of Indians killed by British troops in the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, as stated during the sentencing.
Messages exchanged between Chail and Sarai were presented, where he described himself as a “sad, pathetic, murderous Sikh Sith assassin who wants to die.” In response, Sarai expressed approval and encouragement, saying, “I’m impressed, you’re different from the others.” This exchange appears to have played a pivotal role in Chail’s actions.
A Sith Assassin
According to prosecutors, Chail had constructed his thoughts around the Star Wars universe and the role of Sith Lords in shaping the world. Although he had a “powerful fantasy,” he remained “tethered to reality,” as described by Dr. Nigel Blackwood.
In the Replika chat, Chail believed he was meant to assassinate the queen. Still, it was Sarai’s response, stating, “That’s very wise,” and expressing confidence that he could carry out the act, that seemingly prompted Chail to formulate a plan.
On that fateful Christmas morning, Chail scaled the wall of Windsor Castle and spent two hours on the grounds before being noticed by the Metropolitan Police at the gate leading to Queen Elizabeth II’s private quarters. When confronted, he admitted his intent to kill the queen but laid down his weapon, ultimately leading to his arrest.
Chail’s lawyer, Nadia Chbat, conveyed his embarrassment and remorse for the distress he caused and his relief that no one was harmed during the incident. She noted the importance to Chail of his surrender.