UPDATE, 2.30pm: FORMER pro surfer Jodie Cooper has told the court her alleged attacker "cut in" on a wave she was riding at Lennox Point before repeatedly holding her head under water.

Mark Thomson has pleaded not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault after the alleged incident on August 22 last year.

In evidence in chief, Ms Cooper recalled having surfed for about 30 years, 12 of that at an elite level.

She explained the was surfing recreationally the day of the incident.

The court heard Ms Cooper had caught a wave at Lennox Point about 11am.

She believed there were about 100 people in the water.

"It was quite crowded," she said.

"I took off on a wave. I was in a position where it was my wave."

Mark Thomson, of Lennox Head, at Ballina Local Court.
Mark Thomson, of Lennox Head, at Ballina Local Court. Hamish Broome

She said a man on an air mattress, Mr Thomson, then dropped in on her, breaching surf etiquette.

"I was already on the wave and he was coming down the face of the wave, nearly on top of me," she said.

She said he continued "aggressively veering" toward her as they continued to ride the wave.

"This continued for quite some time, because the wave at Lennox is quite a long wave," she said.

Ms Cooper said her surfboard's find struck the wake caused by Mr Thomson's body, destabilising her before she fell to the water in a "belly flop".

She said she felt "clipping the back of his flippers" before Mr Thomson grabbed her.

"He reached around and grabbed me and pushed me under the water," she said.

"He grabbed me with two hands and forced me under the water.

"It was like he was standing on top of me."

Ms Cooper told the court Mr Thomson was pulling her hair during the ordeal.

She said she was "terrified" as he dunked her under the water's surface three times, repeating it as she tried to surface.

Ms Cooper said the defendant stopped pushing when she pretended to drown.

"I just went limp… that's when he released me," she said.

"I thought I was going to drown. I was fearful for my life."

She said she then splashed water at Mr Thomson and asked him for an explanation.

When asked by prosecutor Sgt Kennedy why she did not attend the police station the day of the incident, Ms Cooper said she was "in shock" and felt "humiliated and ashamed".

But she was later told someone had taken a video of the incident, and she said this contributed to her attending the police station almost two weeks later.

Ms Cooper will be cross-examined this afternoon.

Earlier, the court viewed body-worn video from when police visited Mr Thomson on September 4.

In the video, a lime green surfboard can be seen leaning against the closed screen door through which police briefly speak with Mr Thomson.

When the allegation is brought to Mr Thomson's attention, he said: "it's a marine incident and a marine collision".

He told them it was a matter for the Australian Marine Safety Authority.

The officer explained to him they were not investigating the collision, only the alleged assault.

"I've got nothing to say about that," he said.

The hearing continues.


UPDATE, 12.50pm: A MAN accused of a violent rage at Lennox Head told police the alleged incident was a matter for Maritime Services, a court has heard.


The police officer who took the original statement from former pro surfer and alleged victim, Jodie Cooper, has taken to the witness stand in Ballina Local Court.

The Senior Constable recalled Ms Cooper attending Ballina Police Station to report the alleged attack in September, the month after the incident.

About 3.30pm that day, she and a colleague attended Mr Thomson's Lennox Head home to put the allegation to him.

"I said there's been an allegation made by a Jodie Cooper, who was surfing in Lennox Head, that there was a collision and he held her head under the water," she told the court.

"He said he didn't want to make a statement.

"He said the matter should be referred to Maritime Services as it was a maritime collision."

The officer told the court they advised Mr Thomson police were investigating the allegations.

She said she received a video recording of part of the alleged incident from a member of the public when she initially took Ms Cooper's statement.

Police prosecutor Sgt Kennedy a copy of vision from the officer's body-worn camera - taken when they attended Mr Thomson's home - to the court.

Defence barrister Peter O'Connor is expected to begin cross-examining the officer shortly.


UPDATE, 11.15am: THE criminal case against a Lennox Head man accused of a surf rage incident will be heard before two apprehended violence order applications.

Mark Andrew Thomson, 57, is present in Ballina Local Court for the hearing of two assault allegations against him.

Magistrate Karen Stafford said it was "an unusual situation" as there were cross-applications for AVOs.

Police have applied for an order against Mr Thomson on behalf of his alleged victim, Jodie Cooper.

But Mr Thomson is applying for a separate order against Ms Cooper.

His barrister, Peter O'Connor, told the court they were seeking an order including five conditions for a period of two years.

Mr O'Connor said he hoped what would occur was that the criminal case against his client be heard prior to the AVO applications.

He told the court is was his preference for the evidence in the criminal matter to be used in those applications.

Mr O'Connor had opposed a full and partial adjournment of the hearing as the court heard two prosecution witnesses were attending the funeral of a close family friend.

He asked the officer-in-charge, who was called to the witness stand, whether she had canvassed the possibility those two witnesses could attend the funeral, but skip the wake.

"I didn't think it would be appropriate," the officer replied.


UPDATE, 10.35am: THE prosecution has sought an adjournment of the case against Mark Thomson.

Police prosecutor Sgt Kennedy told the court two civilian witnesses who had been subpoenaed to appear had been required to attend the funeral and wake of a close family friend.

The police officer in charge of the investigation was called as a witness and confirmed the pair had alerted her to the situation on Monday.

Mr Thomson's barrister Peter O'Connor opposed Sgt Kennedy's application and a supplementary application for the matter to be partly heard today.

He told Magistrate Karen Stafford it was "preferable" for hearings to be finalised on one day.

Ms Stafford accepted the prosecution's assertion that the availability of two witnessed could not be foreseen.

She refused the application for a full adjournment, but agreed to allow the hearing to proceed in part.

The court heard Ms Kennedy would call four witnesses today.


Original story: A SURFER accused of attacking a woman in the water at Lennox Head will face a hearing before Ballina Local Court today.

Lennox Head man Mark Andrew Thomson, 57, pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault when he last faced court in November.

Police have alleged he assaulted former pro surfer Jodie Cooper on August 22 last year.

He allegedly repeatedly held her head underwater after his surf mat collided with her surfboard.

During Mr Thomson's last court appearance, his barrister Peter O'Connor told the court a hearing was expected to span five hours.

A cross-application for an apprehended violence order - brought by Mr Thomson against Ms Cooper - is also expected to be considered today.

Police had filed an AVO application on behalf of Ms Cooper.

More to come.