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Do you know anything about the Peter Baldwin bashing?

We'll be doing some readings from the book of Graham soon about that time Peter Baldwin was bashed and nearly killed.    If you know anything about the bashing please let us know.

Peter baldwin bashing

As you can see by the purple tags I've put in Marian Wilkinson's book The Fixer, there are lots and lots and lots of pages about the Baldwin bashing.   And Marian's book is about Graham Richardson.

In 2005, The Sydney Morning Herald said this and its story remains published on the website as at today:

While the graphic photo of the bruised and bloodied face of left-wing Labor MP Peter Baldwin has remained etched in the public conscience since his bashing 25 years ago, those responsible have never been brought to account.

Now, Joe Meissner, one of the central figures in the controversy, has broken his silence. Meissner, an importer as well as one of Australia's top-ranked poker players, claims it was "suggested to Tom [Domican] that Baldwin be fixed up and it developed from there". Meissner claims that Domican organised two associates to do the bashing.

When asked who had suggested this to Domican, Meissner replied: "Who else, our good friend Graham [Richardson]. Ask him."

The story continues

Within a month of the bashing, Harrison (now deceased), his sidekick Domican, Meissner and then girlfriend Virginia Perger (who would later become infamous due to the Love Boat scandal) were charged with conspiracy and forging the books of the Enmore branch of the ALP with intent to defraud.

Furious that he should take the rap for head office, Domican demanded a meeting with Richardson. Meissner says the meeting was held one evening at a building site he owned in Myrtle Street, Chippendale. Richardson, who was on his way to a function, was wearing a tuxedo.

Also in attendance was West Australian property developer Warren Anderson who had been developing Coles New World shopping centres around Marrickville and Enmore.

The trio had been chatting for 10 or so minutes when "Tom comes screeching up on the wrong side of the road from the Sydney Uni end, lights flashing and all that business," Meissner said.

Meissner said that during the meeting Domican asked to have a private word with Richardson in his car. Meissner agreed after Domican promised not to "lay a finger on him".

"Richo was white when he got out of the car, or maybe light green," Meissner said. "It looked like he was trembling."

After Richardson had left, Domican said "I didn't touch him, like I promised." Domican told the others he had put a gun to Richardson's head.

When contacted in Perth and asked about the incident, Anderson said, "Oh jeez, you're stepping into dangerous territory there, love." He went on to say "It's a long time ago. Joe is a good friend of mine and I really don't wish to say a lot. I don't recall what you are saying." When pressed on the matter Anderson said, "If he [Meissner] said it happened, it happened", but that he didn't want to be drawn into the matter.

While Richardson admitted that he had several meetings with Domican, Anderson and Meissner, he said: "I think I would remember if I had a gun pulled on me." When asked if Domican had ever threatened him, Richardson replied: "No point going over all that. I mean I was getting threatened every other Friday."

History shows that in May 1982 all charges relating to the Enmore conspiracy were dropped. However, in dismissing the case, magistrate Bruce Brown noted: "It seems that some force or forces were working improperly to undermine the strength of the prosecution."

Perger and Meissner have confirmed to the Herald that they were guilty of the matters for which they had been charged.

However, the entire prosecution brief was leaked to the defence and Domican was able to pay the witnesses a visit.

As Domican would tell a British TV reporter, "The witnesses had a lapse of memory." He went on to say, "We could not have been found guilty. Had we got found guilty, very high up officials of the Labor Party would have fell, who were also involved in the rigging and that." Domican has always denied any part in the assault on Peter Baldwin.

This photo ran in the SMH at the time:


There's a lot more in Marian Wilkinson's book - but if you have anything you'd like us to know please drop us a line.