Queen assassination attempt: New Zealand teen Christopher John Lewis fired on monarch | World | News

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A new report has detailed how a bullet went whistling past Her Majesty’s head as she stepped out of a car in 1981.

Christopher John Lewis, 17, fired a bullet as the crowd cheered, totally unaware they had nearly witnessed the assassination of the British monarch.

The teenager from Dunedin in the country’s South Island shot at Queen Elizabeth II with a .22 rifle

Officers scrambled to cover up the near miss, it has been revealed.

When they were questioned over a brief disturbance, officers even said a sign had fallen over, causing a loud bang.

Former Dunedin police officer, Tom Lewis, who worked on the 1981 case said: “You will never get a true file on that. It was reactivated, regurgitated, bits pulled off it, other false bits put on.”

Lewis could have been tried for treason and sentenced to death if found guilty, yet in a bid to cover the murder attempt up, an order was given to downgrade charges.

Instead Lewis’s charge was downgraded to possession of a firearm in a public place and discharging it.

Murray Hanan, Lewis’s former lawyer, said: “The fact an attempted assassination of the Queen had taken place in New Zealand. It was too politically hot to handle. I think the government took the view that he is a bit nutty and has had a hard upbringing, so it won’t be too harsh.”

Lewis attempted to write an autobiography called “Last Words” in which he detailed how he was visited by top cops in Wellington, and ordered to stay quiet.

In the manuscript he sent to US publishers Howling At The Moon Productions, he wrote: “If I was ever to mention the events surrounding my interviews of the organisation, they would make sure ‘I suffered a fate worse than death’.” 

At the time the teenager said a British man named “the snowman” had ordered him to kill Her Majesty The Queen.

Lewis had learned about National Front and right wing organisations across the UK, being allegedly told by “The Snowman” he would be helped by similar groups in his own country.

Two years later Lewis attempted to break free from a psychiatric ward when Prince Charle and Princess Diana and their young son, William visited the country.

Lewis was kicked out of education at 15.

By the time he attempted to kill the queen he had a record for armed robbery, arson and animal cruelty.

Lewis was questioned eight times after the attempted attack. When his flat was raided clippings of the Royal Family were found in his grimy flat.

Evidence included a detailed map of the Queen’s route that day with the words ‘Operation = Ass QUEB’ – assumed to to be the name he had given his ‘mission’. 

Ex cop Tom Lewis said Prime Minister Robert Muldoon feared the Royals would not return to New Zealand if word got out about just how close the rogue teenager had come to killing the Queen, according to Hamish McNeilly for the website The Stuff.

Authorities kept a close eye on the wannabe killer – and when the Queen returned to the country in 1995 took drastic measures.

They sent him on an expenses paid beach holiday holiday to the Great Barrier Reef.

“I started to feel like royalty,” he wrote in his memoir.

Lewis later killed himself in Mt Eden Prisons in Auckland in 1997 – at the age of 33.



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