Mark Andrew Thomson, father of shaping legend Daniel ‘Tomo’ Thomson, has been found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after he attacked Jodie Cooper in the water at Lennox Head in August of 2018.
According to reports, Thomson, who was riding a surf mat at the time, dropped in on Cooper and cut back towards her. When she confronted him about it, he grabbed her head and held her underwater. “It was quick and so violent,” she said. “Every time I’d come to go to the surface he’d yank my hair and push me back down again. My lungs were burning. I thought I was going to drown, I was fearful for my life.”
Cooper, who was ranked number two in the world in the mid-’80s, told the court that the assault continued until she faked unconsciousness. “That’s when he released me,” she said. I shot straight to the surface and took an almighty gasp of air.”
Thomson’s defense was that he thought he was the one being attacked. He told the court that he felt something hit him in the back. “There was an unknown entity under the water trying to grab and pull me,” he said. “I was in shock, I was in pain, I was injured.”
The judge, however, wasn’t buying it. She found Thomson to be an “unreliable witness” and that he was “the aggressor at all times.” Thomson will receive his sentence next month.