11 March, 2016. 11:34
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
WOMEN WERE LEFT SCREAMING as masked bandits fled the chaotic scene today at one of Sydney’s most illustrious watering holes after they cut off chef Neil Perry’s beloved ponytail.
It’s unclear at the moment what the motive is for the sickening attack, but the perpetrators escaped with the iconic mane.
Police have launched an investigation, which at this stage is set to take weeks to complete.
A crime scene has been established at the inner-city hotel while special taskforce detectives are due to arrive this afternoon.
“Our first priority is to find the culprits and bring them to justice,” said lead investigator Detective Dallas Stuckey.
“Then we need to establish a motive, why did these people target Mr Perry?”
Unlawful ponytail amputation carries a mandatory custodial sentence is NSW, as it falls under the one-punch-assault umbrella that came in under the sweeping reforms in response to rampant alcohol-fuelled violence.
Mr Perry released a statement via his celebrity manager shortly after the attack, saying the cowards who assaulted him will one day have to face the consequences of their actions.
“I’ve been sporting a ponytail now for over twenty years, it was like another limb to me,” wrote Perry.
“Now I look like a cheap Crown Street lesbian with this bob I’ve got going on now. If those who did this to me are reading this, please give me my ponytail back, it doesn’t belong to you.”
Rumours circulating online are pointing the finger towards the infamous hacker named 4chan, who in the past has claimed responsibility for other similar offences.
Not much is known about 4chan himself, but authorities around the world have long been afraid of his power.
“We have our fingers cross that 4chan is not behind this,” said Detective Stuckey.
“He’s slipperier than an Irish eel. If he has Neil Perry’s ponytail in his possession now, then I’m afraid it’s gone forever.”
However, investigators are exploring other avenues, with suggestion that Perry’s ponytail could be of value in the traditional Chinese medicine market.
In 2009, a similar attack was thwarted after a Chinese gang tried to steal the ponytail while Mr Perry attended a Bernard Fanning concert at the Hordern Pavilion.
More to come.