Mark Andrew Thomson is accused of assaulting surfer Jodie Cooper on morning of August 22 after his surf mat collided with her surfboard on a crowded day at the famed break.
Mark Andrew Thomson is accused of assaulting surfer Jodie Cooper on morning of August 22 after his surf mat collided with her surfboard on a crowded day at the famed break. Marc Stapelberg

SURF RAGE: Lennox man sentenced over assault on elite surfer

A LENNOX Head man has been sentenced over the surf rage assault of former pro surfer Jodie Cooper.

Mark Andrew Thomson, 57, appeared before Ballina Local Court on Thursday for sentencing over the August, 2018 attack which unfolded in the surf at Lennox point.

Magistrate Karen Stafford found Thomson guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in July, after the matter went before two days of hearings.

Solicitor Andrew Sochacki tendered to the court two references on Thomson's behalf, claiming Magistrate Stafford they were both "damn good".

Ms Stafford took those references into account, including that Thomson had helped a woman who was fearful of the water several years ago to become confident to help him teach other women to surf.

Mr Sochacki told the court his client has been subject to extra-curial punishment in the form of media attention on the case, social media attacks and damage to his vehicle.

Police prosecutor, Sergeant Alissia Kennedy, said Thomson had not shown remorse for the assault.

"There really hasn't been anything presented (to the court) that goes to the issue of remorse or contrition," Sgt Kennedy said.

The court heard Thomson had one prior conviction, of a surf-related assault from Byron Bay decades earlier.

Ms Stafford gave Thomson a two year community corrections order and ordered that he complete 300 hours community service.

More to come.



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