Tough minimum sentencing laws mean Grant “Grub” Coleman faces a minimum sixteen years if found guilty of killing the surf star.
The man arrested over the alleged one-punch killing of the wildly talented surf prodigy Chris Davidson has been hit with a second charge of “intentionally choking a person without consent”.
Davidson, forty-five, was allegedly punched in the face by Grant “Grub” Coleman outside the South West Rocks Country Club at around eleven pm on Saturday, September 24. Davo fell, hit his head on the pavement, lights out. It’s such a common event in Australia, a country that has wrestled with violent booze-fuelled attacks for its modern existence, that many bars now feature sponge rubber outside their doors.
Sources close to BeachGrit allege the pair had a run-in at the bar and that Coleman was allegedly thrown out by the club’s security.
Anyway, paramedics treated Davo at the scene and he was taken to Kempsey Hospital but pronounced dead a short time later.
Coleman, a junior footy coach in the coastal hamlet five hours north of Sydney, was arrested at his nearby home thirty minutes after the attack and hit with the initial charge of “assaulting Davidson causing his death.”
Coleman, who is forty-two, was refused bail and has been remanded to Sydney’s notorious Silverwater prison.
Last time I was at there visiting a pal another inmate was getting murdered. As I strolled out of the gates, happy to feel the sun on my face and with the freedom to jump in a car and drive thirty clicks back to the beach, an ambulance was roaring into the compound to pick up the bloodied corpse.
Many years earlier, I visited the Surf Travel Co founder turned drug smuggler Paul King at the same prison.
Gonna be tough for Coleman.
The charge of “assault causing death” is one of those rare offences where minimum sentences apply, the law coming into play after a series of highly publicised attacks where men were killed after being belted, all late at night, all alcohol fuelled.
If Coleman pleads guilty or found guilty of “assault causing death” he faces a max of twenty years in prison, twenty-five, if he was intoxicated, with a minimum sixteen year total sentence, eight of ‘em in full-time custody.
Kelly Slater, who famously lost to Davo in two consecutive heats at Bells Beach in 1996, wrote “Lost another soldier yesterday. One of the most naturally talented surfers I ever knew.”