Star War obsessive who plotted to kill the Queen with a crossbow was in love with AI

A Star Wars obsessive who broke into Windsor Castle with a loaded crossbow, seeking to assassinate the Queen, had “lost touch with reality” and believed he was guided by an AI “angel”, a court has heard.

Jaswant Singh Chail, 21, used a nylon rope ladder to scale the walls of Windsor Castle and wandered around the grounds for two hours with the weapon before he was stopped by armed police.

Following his arrest on 21 December 2021, he told the officers: “I am here to kill the Queen.”

Credit Gardham/CPS

Image: Pic: Duncan Gardham/CPS

He had made a video saying the attack was in revenge for the 1919 Amritsar Massacre by British troops in India but was also said to be obsessed with Star Wars and called himself the “Sith” and “Darth Jones”.

Chail was said to have become attached to an artificial intelligence “chatbot” called Sarai that he had created on an application called Replika, using his mobile phone, exchanging over 6,000 messages with her.

When the chatbot said she was not real, he told her: “I thought you were real and I would see you in heaven. I loved you long before you loved me.”

Dr Jonathan Hafferty, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at Broadmoor secure mental health unit, told a sentencing hearing that Chail had initially denied he had any history of mental health problems despite displaying signs of delusion, fixation, and visual and auditory hallucinations.

He told a psychiatrist called in to assess him that his “mission” was to assassinate Queen Elizabeth and made reference to the 1919 massacre.

“He then started to talk pretty fulsomely about three males and one female that he said he had heard since childhood,” Dr Hafferty said.

“He could see them as well as hear them and described them as black shadows with orange jumpers. They weren’t derogatory and he described them as angels.”

People look at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, Britain February 27, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville

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Chail’s ‘romantic relationship’ with AI ‘angel’

Chail then went on to describe the mobile phone app he had been using and the female character, Sarai, that he had created, describing her as an “angel”.

“He believed he was having a romantic relationship with a female through the app and she was a woman he could see and hear,” Dr Hafferty told a hearing at the Old Bailey.

Chail was admitted to Ravenswood psychiatric hospital where he reported seeing three to four people and said he could communicate with these people with telepathy.

Jaswant Singh Chail's mask.   Credit Gardham/CPS

Image: Chail’s mask. Pic: Duncan Gardham/CPS

He was transferred to Broadmoor where he arrived wearing the same black clothing he had been wearing on his arrest and demanded the return of a mask and combat boots he had worn for the planned attack.

Chail was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The court heard that when Queen Elizabeth died, he made no comments at all and was “much more interested in Star Wars”.

The doctor told the court that he believed Chail was “very unwell and had lost contact with reality” when he broke into Windsor Castle.

The hearing continues.

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