A police sergeant running as an LNP candidate for the seat of Stretton inherited the home of an elderly bachelor he befriended after responding to a complaint that the man may have been inappropriately dealing with children.
Sergeant Jim Bellos inherited 70 per cent of a three-bedroom house in Sunnybank Hills in 2003 after responding to a complaint about the man and subsequently striking up a friendship.
His acceptance of the home – then worth about $150,000 – was investigated by the Crime and Misconduct Commission at the time and Sgt Bellos was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The home belonged to a 78-year-old man, Frank “Bill” William Williams, who family and neighbours say was “taken advantage of” by a group of local teenagers who used his home as a meeting place while skipping school.
They say that when a resident of the street expressed concerns to police, Sgt Bellos looked into it and then began helping Mr Williams.
“It was a matter of weeks and probably into months,” one neighbour told The Courier-Mail, while a family member described the relationship as “not a long time”.
It is understood Mr Williams changed his Will during the final weeks of his life, leaving the majority of the property to Sgt Bellos.
Mr Williams died in April, 2003, with the death notice placed in The Courier-Mail including the words “good friend of Jim Bellos”.
Property records show Sgt Bellos bought the female relative out in September 2003 for a sum of $35,000.
The Courier-Mail has spoken to two family members who consulted lawyers about the Will but did not proceed through the courts. It is understood other relatives were comfortable with the terms of Mr Williams’ Will.
Sgt Bellos renovated the house and rented it out for some years before selling it for $460,000 four years ago.
A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said he began seeing Sgt Bellos at Mr Williams’ Sunnybank Hills home in 2003 when the police officer “got rid of” the teenagers for the elderly man.
“He was constantly there,” the neighbour said.
“I would say he sort of kept an eye on him … if something went haywire, he would step in and sort it out.
“He was like a sort of carer, if you wish.”
The neighbour said Mr Williams had been “appreciative” of the police officer’s help.
“(Sgt) Bellos did nothing, nothing underhanded in my opinion to gain access to that house,” he said.
In an entirely separate matter, Sgt Bellos is currently being investigated by the Queensland Police Service in relation to internal bullying allegations. He has denied the allegations.
A spokesperson for the QPS confirmed: “The officer is subject of a current investigation by Ethical Standards Command which remains ongoing.”
The spokesperson said the 2003 investigation, regarding the inheritance, found no wrongdoing.
“A matter in 2003 relating to the member in question was investigated by the then Crime and Misconduct Commission with the officer cleared of any wrongdoing,” they said.
Sgt Bellos would not return calls and responded to written questions via the LNP.
“I sternly reject the premise of your questions and reserve all legal rights,” he said in a written response.
“I’ve been bringing people together for over 30 years and political witch hunts will not stop me serving the community.
“This matter was thoroughly investigated by the Ethical Standards Command and I was cleared of any wrongdoing.
“Subsequently, I have been awarded the Premier’s Award, Queenslander of the Year, the Australian Police Medal and the Order of Australia for my service to our community.”
The Stretton by-election will be held on Saturday.
Originally published as LNP candidate cop inherited home from man at centre of complaint