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Strict minimum sentencing laws mean Grant ‘Grub’ Coleman faces a minimum of sixteen years if convicted of the surfer star’s murder.

The man arrested for the alleged murder of a punch of tExtremely talented surfing prodigy Chris Davidson has been hit with a second charge to “intentionally suffocate a person without his consent”.

Davidson, forty-five, was allegedly punched in the face by Grant “Grub” Coleman outside the South West Rocks Country Club around eleven o’clock on Saturday September 24. Davo fell, hit his head on the sidewalk, lights out. It’s such a common occurrence in Australia, a country that has battled violent alcohol-fueled attacks for its modern existence, that many bars now feature squishy rubber outside their doors.

Sources close to BeachGrit say the pair got into a fight at the bar and Coleman was kicked out by club security.

Either way, paramedics treated Davo at the scene and he was taken to Kempsey Hospital but pronounced dead a short time later.

Coleman, a junior football 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 42, was denied bail and sent back to Sydney’s infamous Silverwater Prison.

The last time I was there to visit a buddy, another inmate was being murdered. As I walked through the gates, happy to feel the sun on my face and have the freedom to hop in a car and be back to the beach in thirty clicks, an ambulance roared into the compound to pick up the bloodied corpse.

Several years earlier, I had visited Surf Travel Co founder-turned-drug dealer Paul King in the same prison.

It’s going to be tough for Coleman.

The charge of ‘assault causing death’ is one of those rare offenses where minimum sentences apply, with the law coming into play after a series of high-profile attacks where men were killed after being belted, all late at night, all fed with alcohol.

If Coleman pleads guilty or is found guilty of “assault causing death”, he faces a maximum of twenty years in prison, twenty-five, if he was intoxicated, with a minimum total sentence of sixteen years, including eight in full-time detention.

Kelly Slater, who lost to Davo in back-to-back sets at Bells Beach in 1996, wrote, “I lost another soldier yesterday. One of the most naturally talented surfers I have ever known.


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