Chris Davidson death: Grant Coleman hit with another charge

The man accused of a one-punch attack on the NSW Mid-North Coast which killed former pro surfer Chris Davidson has been hit with another charge.

Grant Coleman, brother of NSW Waratahs coach Darren Coleman, was arrested about 11pm Saturday, shortly after the alleged assault outside the South West Rocks Country Club.

Police allege the 42-year-old punched Davidson, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head on the pavement.

Emergency services were called to Sportsmans Way where Davidson was treated by paramedics before he was taken to Kempsey Hospital.

The 45-year-old died in hospital a short time later.

Mr Coleman was initially charged with assault occasioning death and faced Port Macquarie Bail Court on Sunday.

He faced court again on Monday where he again did not apply for bail, but was hit with a new charge.

Mr Coleman has now been charged with intentionally choking Mr Davidson without his consent. No plea has been entered to either charge.

The men were known to each other and were both well-known locals in the small town.

Tributes have been flowing for Mr Davidson since his death, with fellow surfer Nathan Hedge saying he was “fortunate” to have known his best mate since they were 12 years old.

“He was such an asset to myself and the surf community,” he told the Today Show on Monday.

“Just tragic to lose Chris in such crappy circumstances, just tragic.”

He emotionally described Mr Davidson as “the most kind-hearted, charismatic, incredible person”.

“He’d give you the shirt off his back … he was just such a beautiful person,” Mr Hedge said.

“Just did everything with passion and commitment, full conviction. He was such a unique character … he was so strong-willed and just loved life.

“You always knew Chris was around and he left you knowing that he was there with you. And he just wanted to make sure you were having a good time as well.

“I’ll miss surfing with Chris. I will miss him hanging out with our daughters … just robbed too early. He had so much more life to give, enjoy and cherish.”

Mr Hedge said the alleged one-punch attack had ruined two lives.

“Nobody wins, it’s just the worst thing ever,” he said.

Mr Davidson was a member of the Rip Curl Search team in the early 1990s, and Tracks magazine described him as “one of the most gifted surfers in the world” at the peak of his career.

In 2010, he was ranked number 14 globally in the sport.

Mr Davidson’s career was kickstarted in 1996 when at 19 he was granted a wildcard into the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach and famously defeated Kelly Slater in two consecutive heats.

Slater posted an emotional tribute to Davidson to his Instagram story on Sunday.

“Lost another soldier yesterday,” he wrote.

“Had many a good battle with this guy. One of the most naturally talented surfers I ever knew.”

Originally published as Ex-surf champ Chris Davidson’s alleged killer hit with another charge

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