You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Colourful Sydney identity and garbage collector Tom Domican SUES King of the Cross John Ibrahim for 'portraying him as a hitman and drug dealer' - and wants his best-selling book pulped

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 23/07/2018 Stephen Gibbs

a person posing for the camera: Sydney identity Tom Domican is suing nightclub boss John Ibrahim over his portrayal in Ibrahim's book Last King of the Cross. Domican launched his legal action late last week © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Sydney identity Tom Domican is suing nightclub boss John Ibrahim over his portrayal in Ibrahim's book Last King of the Cross. Domican launched his legal action late last week A colourful Sydney identity is suing John Ibrahim over the nightclub baron's portrayal of him in his best-selling memoir Last King of the Cross.

Tom Domican says Ibrahim defamed him by suggesting he was a hitman and had been involved in drug dealing during Sydney's 1980s so-called gang wars.

The 75-year-old's legal action promises to bring to life a colourful line-up of criminal characters and bloody events largely buried three decades ago.

a man standing in front of a building: John Ibrahim, pictured with a copy of his book Last King of the Cross, is writing another memoir. Ibrahim donated the advance for his first book to charities including Wayside Chapel © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited John Ibrahim, pictured with a copy of his book Last King of the Cross, is writing another memoir. Ibrahim donated the advance for his first book to charities including Wayside Chapel

Ibrahim wrote in his book that former detective Roger Rogerson, who has since been jailed for murder, approached him while the young entrepreneur was taking over the protection of Kings Cross strip clubs in the late 1990s.

He and Rogerson were 'used to talking straight to each other.' 

'So he comes right out and tells me a few people are not happy at me removing them from the Cross... and that there are people looking around to get rid of me,' Ibrahim wrote.

First-time author John Ibraham, pictured with girlfriend Sarah Budge, has been long-listed for a prestigious Australian Crime Writers Association's award for his book Last King of the Cross © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited First-time author John Ibraham, pictured with girlfriend Sarah Budge, has been long-listed for a prestigious Australian Crime Writers Association's award for his book Last King of the Cross 'Tom Domican was approached but laughed it off.

'Tom had been involved in the first gang wars in Sydney twenty years earlier when him, Neddy Smith, Chris Flannery (Mr Rent-A-Kill himself) were all warring over Sydney turf back then for the lucrative illegal gambling machines and the heroin market.

'He knows [Ibrahim's brother] Sam and me and didn't want to be involved.'

Domican has retained solicitor Bruce Hall to instruct barrister Sue Chrysanthou in the case. Ms Chrysanthou is acting for Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush in another defamation action before the courts.

a man holding a sign: Tony Abbott once described Domican as a standover man while he was federal workplace relations minister. Domican challenged Abbott to a boxing match to raise money for charity

Tony Abbott once described Domican as a standover man while he was federal workplace relations minister. Domican challenged Abbott to a boxing match to raise money for charity
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

Domican claims that passage defames him by carrying the imputations that he 'was willing to be hired to kill people other than the lbrahims.'

He also claims it implies he is 'a violent criminal who took part in gang wars', is a criminal who conducted or sought to conduct illegal gambling and engaged or sought to engage in the supply of heroin.

Domican's claims he has been 'greatly injured in his credit, and reputation, and has been brought into public scandal, odium and contempt.'

He is seeking aggravated damages, an order that the book be recalled and destroyed, and that any future printings of the book exclude any reference to him.

Dublin-born Domican is a former garbage collector and onetime inner-city Labor Party numbers man who has been heavily involved in the construction industry. 

Tony Abbott once described Domican as a standover man while he was federal workplace relations minister; Domican challenged Abbott to a boxing match to raise money for charity but Abbott declined. 

Domican was charged with one murder, one attempted murder and five conspiracies to murder in the 1980s but was cleared of every alleged offence.

Many of those prosecutions relied on the word of disreputable and discredited prison informers.

The murder charge against Domican was in relation to the death of hitman Chris Flannery in 1985, an accusation no one now believes. Flannery's body has never been found.

John Ibrahim wrote in his book that former detective Roger Rogerson (pictured) contacted him in the late 1990s warning rivals were unhappy about Ibrahim running protection in Kings Cross © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited John Ibrahim wrote in his book that former detective Roger Rogerson (pictured) contacted him in the late 1990s warning rivals were unhappy about Ibrahim running protection in Kings Cross John Ibrahim holding a sign © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

Domican has never been charged with drug offences and has long railed against being called an underworld figure.

'After 30 years I'm just sick and tired of all the bulls---,' Domican told Daily Mail Australia. 'It not only hurts me, it hurts my wife and my family.' 

Domican said he had met Ibrahim 'once, maybe twice.' 

The fitness fanatic, who still trains at a gym for two hours a day, six days a week, has spent much of his time overseas in recent years. 

He has previously objected to his brief portrayal in the award-winning television series Blue Murder which dramatised the exploits of Rogerson, Flannery, Smith and other 1980s crooks.

Graham 'Abo' Henry, who also featured in Blue Murder as a serious criminal of that time, wrote about Domican in his own book Abo: A Treacherous Life.

a man in a white shirt: Graham 'Abo' Henry was a major player in the Sydney gang wars of the 1980s © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Graham 'Abo' Henry was a major player in the Sydney gang wars of the 1980s a man holding a fish: Arthur 'Neddy' Smith was a major player in the Sydney gang wars of the 1980s © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Arthur 'Neddy' Smith was a major player in the Sydney gang wars of the 1980s

'Everyone involved in major crime gangs in Sydney knew each other,' Henry wrote.

'But nobody knew Domican... He was not a gangster.'

Domican filed a statement of claim in the Federal Court late last week just days before the first anniversary of the publication of Ibrahim's book.

Defamation action needs to be launched within 12 months of a statement being published.

The lawsuit comes a fortnight after Last King of the Cross was long-listed in the true crime category of the Australian Crime Writers Association's prestigious Ned Kelly Awards.

Last King of the Cross charts Ibrahim's rise from a boy fleeing war-torn Lebanon with his family to his nights as a bouncer and his eventual domination of the Sydney nightclub scene.

Written in 'the mongrel tongue of the streets', it is described by its publisher as 'crazier than Goodfellas, more compelling than The Godfather.'

a group of people posing for the camera: Graham 'Abo' Henry (pictured left with Neddy Smith) wrote about Domican: 'Everyone involved in major crime gangs in Sydney knew each other. But nobody knew Domican... ' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Graham 'Abo' Henry (pictured left with Neddy Smith) wrote about Domican: 'Everyone involved in major crime gangs in Sydney knew each other. But nobody knew Domican... '

'Last King of the Cross is a colourful crime saga like no other and powerful proof that the truth is always stranger than fiction,' the publisher states.

'Bullets fly, blades flash and bodies fall.

'In a city of shadows, John builds his army and empire - partying like a playboy prince of darkness while staying one step ahead of the cops, the outlaw gangs and hungry triggermen, plotting to take him and his family down.'

Ibrahim is writing another memoir to follow his best-selling debut work, which has been credited with attracting new readers to the true crime genre.

Domican is suing both Ibrahim and publisher Pan Macmillan Australia. A spokesperson for Pan Macmillan Australia declined to comment on the action.

Ibrahim reportedly donated more than his six-figure advance for the book to several charities including the Wayside Chapel at Kings Cross.

Domican is seeking a publisher for his own book which he says will expose political and police corruption.

The defamation matter is listed in the Federal Court on August 30. 

a man standing in front of a building: Nightclub baron John Ibrahim pictured at his Dover Heights home with a copy of his book © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Nightclub baron John Ibrahim pictured at his Dover Heights home with a copy of his book

More From Daily Mail

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon