Australian man gets five years in jail for killing former pro-surfer Chris Davidson

‘Coleman was judge and jury of Davidson,’ says district court judge

Arpan Rai
Saturday 23 March 2024 11:06 GMT
British doctor surfing in Australia describes punching a shark in the nose after watching a YouTube video about it

An Australian man who fatally punched former pro-surfer Chris Davidson has been sentenced to five years in jail.

Grant Coleman, 43, attacked Davidson outside Australia’s South West Rocks Country Club in a late night brawl in 2022.

The Newcastle District Court was informed of Davidson’s history of being a convicted child sex offender and how Coleman told the police that he was “triggered” after he saw the surfer with a young woman, reported ABC Australia news.

Coleman also claimed that he attacked the pro-surfer to protect the local community.

Judge Peter McGrath said Coleman had yelled out “paedophile” to Davidson multiple times inside the club and also outside on the night of the assault, after he allegedly saw him approach a 19-year-old girl at the bar.

He noted that the accused also had an intense dislike of Davidson and “developed a fixation on him” because to his "knowledge and belief" he was a "repeat abuser" of "young females".

Judge McGrath said “Coleman was the judge and jury of Mr Davidson. Tragically, Mr Coleman also became Mr Davidson’s executioner”.

"Mr Coleman felt justified in taking the law in his own hands... in Mr Coleman’s point of view, he was like some unofficial sheriff of South West Rocks.”

Coleman pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing death and one count of assault. He has now been jailed for five years with a minimum of three years.

After receiving his jail sentence, Coleman said he was “haunted” by his crime.

"[When] I realised what I’d done. I wanted him to wake up, to regain consciousness," he told the district court, reported ABC.

Davidson grew up surfing at North Narrabeen on Sydney’s northern beaches and competed on the world professional surfing tour in 2010 and 2011.

He famously beat reigning world champion Kelly Slater in two consecutive heats in 1996 after being granted a wildcard entry in the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in