Punch drunk at Percy’s: The QC, the AG and the mystery
It’s an enigma wrapped in a mystery: just who hit who in the wee hours of Saturday morning at Percy Jones’s pub in the gentrified precincts of Melbourne’s Carlton? Attorney General Rob Hulls insists he wasn’t there. Percy is also trying hard to insist that Hulls wasn’t there, but he seems to be having a […]
Yesterday Crikey reported that Jones, the former Carlton ruckman turned publican, had dobbed in another legal eagle and old friend as the fellow who clocked him on the snoz, sparking the scuffle that Jones described as a “calm chat” (which is big man code for “I clocked him back, and you should see the other guy”).
We held back on naming the other guy yesterday because we hadn't been able to talk to him and check out the story, but we can tell you today that poor old Percy was so confused in the wee hours of the morning he thought he'd actually clocked Colin Lovitt QC.
But Colin Lovitt is not a bloke you want to tangle with. He's the one who got Chopper Reid off on the murder wrap after the Bojangles shooting. He also represented Greg Domaszewicz and once sparked a scandal when he called a Queensland magistrate a cretin.
We had a nice chat with Lovitt yesterday, during which he said he hadn't been near Percy's pub for quite some time and he was very glad we'd checked with him. “Don't say it was me, and if you do I'll sue you,” he said. Fair enough.
But despite his prolonged absence from the bar in question, Mr Lovitt did have some observations about his good friend Percy, the confused publican. “Percy was doing his usual thing with Hulls. I wasn't there. They were just having light hearted banter... I think this has been a story that has grown with the telling.”
So we went back to the confused Mr Jones who said he was “interested” in the fact that Mr Lovitt was denying his role as both puncher and punchee, but he was standing by his story. And then, apropos of nothing in particular, he made this observation: “They didn't hit it off, Hulls and Lovitt.”
Crikey also had a long chat with Mr Hulls's spinners yesterday afternoon, during which we were berated for running a story that had been so emphatically denied by Mr Jones and Mr Hulls... But, as we said at the time, the story seemed fair game because the denials have been, so, well, confusing...
And Crikey has now spoken to two people who were present late on Saturday afternoon when Percy offered his first account of the altercation. They agree that the original version of the story featured Mr Hulls, that Mrs Hulls was also there, and it happened in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
All of which might explain why Mr Hulls denies being at the pub on “Friday night.” He wasn't there on Friday night, but was he there in the wee hours of Saturday morning?
Rob Hulls's spinner says he wasn't at Percy's Bar on Friday night, Saturday Night, Sunday Night or at any point in time over the weekend. Which leaves the question – if it wasn't Hulls or Lovitt, who was it? Anyone who might've been in Percy's pub in the wee hours of Saturday morning and who actually saw the drama unfold can email us at [email protected] Let's just hope any witnesses who come forward are not as confused as Percy.