New Zealand magazine Stuff claims to have uncovered the story of then-17-year-old Christopher John Lewis, who is claimed to have fired his .22 rifle at the British monarch as she stood next to husband Prince Philip in an open-top Rolls Royce.
Lewis is said to have developed an “obsession” with the royal family, with claims emerging that he also plotted to kill the Queen’s son Prince Charles.
The report goes on to claim New Zealand officials deliberately concealed the assassination plot from the media in order to disguise the security blunder and avoid jeopardising future royal visits.
Newly uncovered police job sheets are said to show Lewis’s initial charge – attempted treason – was downgraded to possession and discharge of a weapon in a public place.
Former Dunedin detective sergeant Tom Lewis (no relation to the killer), told Stuff: “You will never get a true file on that…it was reactivated, regurgitated, bits pulled off it, other false bits put on it…They were in damage control so many times.”
Murray Hanan, Lewis’s former lawyer, said: “The fact an attempted assassination of the Queen had taken place in New Zealand…was just 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.”
During police interviews, Lewis claimed he had been instructed to kill the Queen by an anonymous Englishman known to him as “the Snowman”.
Lewis went on to commit suicide in prison in 1999, aged 33, while awaiting trial for the murder of a young mother and the kidnapping of her child.