Christopher John Lewis, 17 in 1981, allegedly joined the cheering crowds in Dunedin to see the monarch. Armed with a rifle, he shot at the Queen when she stepped out of her vehicle.
While it was a close call, Queen Elizabeth wasn’t harmed and the crowd were unaware of the incident, so the parade continued as scheduled.
McNeilly tells, 'The 17-year-old Christopher John Lewis was almost a hardened criminal by that age.
'He was a kid who was expelled from kindergarten, [and expelled from] intermediate school for playing sex games. At high school he was suspended and got the most canings.'
According to McNeilly, the Lewis was holed up in a toilet cubicle on the fifth floor of a building, with the rifle allegedly stuck out the window as he eagerly awaited for the Queen's arrival.
Witnesses to the royal visit told Mr McNeilly they heard the shot ring out, however police made up a number of excuses for the noise.
When British media asked officials about the alleged attack, police argued it may have been someone letting off firecrackers nearby.
Lewis was eventually caught after he robbed a post office with the same rifle that was used in the attempted assassination, which was linked back to the event.
Police files recently obtained by McNeilly reveal that Lewis was interviewed on suspicion of trying to kill the Queen, and was even charged with attempted treason.
McNeilly says, 'The released documents I have show him facing an attempted treason charge. He admits to shooting [at] the Queen initially, but in some of the redacted documents, it later says that he shot at the road only.'
Despite never being officially charged with attempted treason for the 1981 incident, police felt it was necessary to keep Lewis away from the Queen during her next visit to New Zealand in late 1995.
Lewis eventually took his own life while in prison in 1997 while he was awaiting trial after being charged over the murder of a 27-year-old woman.
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