Windsor Castle crossbow intruder was ‘isolated and demotivated’ by lockdown, says his father

The father of the Windsor crossbow intruder was worried lockdown had left his son "isolated and demotivated", neighbours have said.  

The armed man, believed to be Jaswant Singh Chail, 19, was arrested on Christmas Day inside the grounds of Windsor Castle, where the Queen was in residence, after he scaled a fence.

Armed police outside Windsor Castle on Boxing Day

Credit: Geoffrey Swaine/Shutterstock

His father, Jasbir Singh Chail, 57, had told neighbours during lockdown he was concerned about the impact it was having on his son, claiming it had left him “isolated and demotivated”.

One neighbour said Mr Chail Snr had found it “difficult” to interest his son, known as Jas, in anything positive. He blamed lockdown for his lack of motivation.

“His son was spending more time alone in his room on social media and the lockdown had made this worse,” the neighbour, who did not want to be named, told MailOnline.

Another neighbour said: “The dad seemed a bit worried about his son and said that he was quite demotivated and isolated. I just put it down to parents moaning about their teenage kids but the lockdown definitely made it worse for the family.”

Minutes before his arrest, the teenage suspect had apparently posted a video threatening  to “assassinate the Queen” in revenge for the 1919 Amritsar massacre. 

In a digitally distorted voice, Chail said: “If you have received this then my death is near.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what I’ve done and what I will do. 

“I will attempt to assassinate Elizabeth, Queen of the Royal Family.”

It’s been revealed a 19-year-old intruder who was arrested in the grounds of Windsor Castle was armed with a crossbow – and it’s claimed he intended to assassinate the Queen. https://t.co/gYFVWBqbT0 @MKarstunen #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/cYpXXfWYOP

— 7NEWS Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) December 27, 2021

Scotland Yard took over the investigation from Thames Valley Police on Boxing Day, due to the serious nature of the breach.

A spokesman said the suspect, who was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, remains in the care of medical professionals.

Scotland Yard also confirmed detectives were “assessing the contents of a video” following the incident.

Example of ‘leaking information’ by potential attackers, says detective

The news comes as a former Metropolitan Police detective inspector said the video posted online is an example of behavioural “leaking” by potential attackers.

Philip Grindell said only rarely do direct threats presage attacks, such as in the Windsor Castle incident, and more can be done to protect high profile figures, including MPs.

The former detective said people on an escalating path to violence often give away information by telling somebody or otherwise publicising the intention to do something.

“Often [potential attackers] are leaking information either because they want to warn people, because they’re seeking help,” he said. 

“They don’t want to do something and for no one to know who it was. They want someone to remember them and understand their ideology.”

Timeline for incidents involving a crossbow

In his video, Jaswant Chail makes numerous references to villains from the Star Wars films.

Mr Grindell said identifying with such characters showed a “psychological desire to be a “pseudocommando” or show a “warrior mentality”. 

He said: “However illogical attackers’ thought processes are, they have come to the conclusion they need to resort to violence. These are the indicators we’re looking for to say their intent is changing.”

‘Complacency is what poses the greatest threat to MPs’

Mr Grindell, who set up a protection unit for parliamentarians after the Jo Cox murder, said the vast majority of money spent each year on MPs’ protection –  roughly £4 million – goes on security to their homes, where attacks are unlikely to take place.

“These types of attacks are researched, planned and targeted. [The attacker] needs to know where a person is going to be at a certain time,” he said.

“MPs often say ‘what about when I’m in the supermarket or in the pub or walking down the street?’ but that’s not where someone’s going to attack you. 

“Every single time they’ve been attacked, it’s at their constituency offices, because they publish the times and dates of when they’re going to be there.

“This complacency is what poses the greatest threat to MPs.”

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