Terry Lewis (police officer)

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Terence Murray "Terry" Lewis
Born29 February 1928 (1928-02-29) (age 90)
Criminal statusreleased
Conviction(s)16 counts of corruption and forgery
Criminal penalty10½ years imprisonment

Terence Murray Lewis
14th Commissioner of the Queensland Police Service
In office
November 1976 (1976-11) – September 1987 (1987-09)
Preceded byRaymond Wells Whitrod
Succeeded byRonald Joseph Redmond (acting)
Personal details
Born(1928-02-29)February 29, 1928
Hazel Catherine Lewis (m. 1952–2009)
, on her death
ResidenceBrisbane, Australia
ProfessionPolice officer

Terence Murray Lewis GM (born 29 February 1928) is a former Queensland Police Commissioner who was convicted and jailed for corruption and forgery as a result of the Fitzgerald Inquiry. He was stripped of his knighthood and two other awards in consequence.[1]

Lewis has continued to protest his innocence, and sued his former lawyers and pursued appeals.[2] The last of his appeals failed in August 2005.[3]


Lewis was inducted as a police officer in 1949.[4] As a senior constable, Lewis was in charge of the Juvenile Aid Bureau.[5] He was implicated in the National Hotel scandal. Lewis was also a close associate[6] of the corrupt former Police Commissioner Francis Bischof and was allegedly one of his bagmen. Informant, Shirley Brifman, said: "the collect boys were Lewis, Murphy and Hallahan. That went to Bischof ".[7] Former Royal Commissioner, Donald Stewart, observed that in 1976, Lewis "was plucked from well-deserved obscurity by [Premier] Bjelke-Petersen to be his vassal, to do his bidding, lawful or otherwise".[8] Initially, Lewis was promoted to the rank of Assistant Police Commissioner to Ray Whitrod, however, Whitrod refused to work with him and resigned in protest when Bjelke-Petersen insisted on Lewis's appointment. Lewis served as Police Commissioner from 1976 to 1987, receiving a knighthood, but was dismissed by police minister Bill Gunn in September 1987.

By 1980, Detective Jack Herbert had become Lewis' bagman, but he later became a major informant against Lewis and others at the Fitzgerald Inquiry.[9] Assistant Commissioner Graeme Parker also confessed to corruption and implicated Lewis on 16 September 1987.[10] Following the end of the Fitzgerald Inquiry, Lewis was charged in 1989 with 23 counts of perjury, corruption, and forgery.[11] After hearing evidence over five months, and having deliberated for five days, a District Court jury found that although Lewis had not lied to the inquiry, he had accepted bribes totalling $700,000 to protect brothels, SP (starting price) bookmakers, illegal casinos and in-line machine operators, and to prevent poker machines being legally introduced in Queensland.[12] He was also found to have forged Bjelke-Petersen's signature on an official police document in 1981.[citation needed]


Judge Healy sentenced Lewis to the maximum prison term possible – 14 years on the 15 corruption charges and 10 years on the forgery charge – to be served concurrently, fixed a non-parole period of 9½ years, and fined Lewis $50,000 on each of the corruption charges. Lewis was paroled in 2002 after serving 10½ years. He has continued to protest his innocence, suing his former lawyers and pursuing further appeals.[2][13][14] The last of his appeals failed in August 2005.[3]

Awards and honours[edit]

Lewis received the following honours:

Knight-Bachelor.ribbon.png Knight Bachelor 1 January 1986; for his service to the Queensland Police, on 1 January 1986.[15][16]
Order of the British Empire (Civil) Ribbon.png Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) 16 June 1979[17][18]
UK George Medal ribbon.svg George Medal (GM) 10 May 1960; for his apprehension of an armed man, when a Senior Detective Constable, along with three other police officers. Of the other officers Detective Constable 1st Class Glen Patrick Hallahan was also awarded the GM, while Constables Kevin John Morris and James Kevin Shearer were awarded the gallantry version of the British Empire Medal. The constables had initially attended an incident where a woman had reported that her husband was armed with a rifle, and was threatening to kill both her, and himself. The two detectives arrived later, and attempted to disarm the man, during which the gun was fired, with a shot passing between Hallahan's legs, they eventually managed to subdue the man.[19][20]
Queens Police Medal for Merit.png Queen's Police Medal (QPM) 11 June 1977[21][22]
National Medal (Australia) ribbon.png National Medal 15 May 1986[23]

Churchill Fellowship in 1968 for his work with the Juvenile Aid Bureau.[24]

In March 1993 the Queen stripped Lewis of the awards of Knight Bachelor, Officer of the Order of the British Empire and Queen's Police Medal for Merit.[25] Lewis became only the 14th person since the 14th century to be stripped of his knighthood.[1] He retained the George Medal, which was awarded for gallantry; and the National Medal awarded for service.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Whitton, Evan (2007-05-12). "When the Sunshine State set up a scoundrel trap". The Australian. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
  2. ^ a b The Law Report: 12 October 2004 – Justice Queensland Style; Majority Jury Verdicts
  3. ^ a b Lewis v Hillhouse [2005] QCA 316, Court of Appeal (Qld, Australia).
  4. ^ MacDonald, Robert (27 February 2013). "Former police commissioner Terry Lewis shines light on Queensland's darkest days". The Courier-Mail. News Corp. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  5. ^ Frank Bischof, Australian Dictionary of Biography Online entry
  6. ^ Ray Whitrod – Interview Transcript tape 8
  7. ^ Whitton E. The Hillbilly Dictator, Chapter 2. Jack Herbert Gets a Start. http://netk.net.au/Whitton/Hillbilly6.asp
  8. ^ Stewart D.G. 2007, Recollections of an Unreasonable Man, Sydney: ABC Books,183.
  9. ^ Fitzgerald G.E. 1989, Report of a Commission of Inquiry Pursuant to Orders in Council. available http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/about-the-ccc/the-fitzgerald-inquiry, p32.
  10. ^ Fitzgerald G.E. 1989, Report ,p3.
  11. ^ http://www.cmc.qld.gov.au/data/portal/00000005/content/81350001131406907822.pdf
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 April 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2007.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ R v Lewis [1992] QCA 223, Court of Appeal (Qld, Australia).
  14. ^ Lewis v Hillhouse [2005] QSC 20, Supreme Court (Qld, Australia)
  15. ^ "No. 50361". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1985. p. 2.
  16. ^ "Sir Terry Lewis". Australian Honours Database. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
  17. ^ "No. 47869". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 1979. p. 11.
  18. ^ "Terry Lewis OBE". Australian Honours Database. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
  19. ^ "No. 42029". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 May 1960. p. 3306.
  20. ^ "Terry Lewis GM". Australian Honours Database. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
  21. ^ "No. 47234". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 June 1977. p. 7115.
  22. ^ "Terry Lewis QPM". Australian Honours Database. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
  23. ^ "Terry Lewis".
  24. ^ Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
  25. ^ Queensland Gazette No. 69, 26 March 1993, p. 1543

Further reading[edit]

  • Whitton, Evan (1989). The hillbilly dictator: Australia's police state. Sydney: ABC Enterprises. ISBN 0-642-12809-X.
  • Bishop, Steve (2012). The Most Dangerous Detective: the Outrageous Glen Patrick Hallahan and the Rat Pack, Amazon.com. ISBN 9781480253797
  • Condon, Matthew (2013) Three Crooked Kings, University of Queensland Press ISBN 9780702238918

Other sources[edit]