Stab Magazine | Internet Bullying Reduces Mark Thomson's Sentence In Assault Case Against Jodie Cooper

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Internet Bullying Reduces Mark Thomson’s Sentence In Assault Case Against Jodie Cooper

Pool toy rider claimed internet bullying left him with psychological distress, and it worked… 

news // Aug 17, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Mark Andrew Thomson, pool toy purveyor and father of shaper Daniel ‘Tomo’ Thomson, has been sentenced for his assault of former professional surfer, Jodie Cooper.

Thomson was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm last month by Lennox Head magistrate Karen Stafford and was facing a maximum of five years in jail.

The incident in question, which took place in September of 2018, occurred during a crowded session during which Thomson dropped in on Cooper, then took exception at being called out and attacked the woman.

According to Cooper, the beating did not cease until she went limp and feigned unconsciousness.

Legal strategy from Thomsom began with claiming that court had no jurisdiction because the assault was a ‘maritime collision.” When that dubious claim failed to hold water he stated that he was unaware of what he was fighting. “There was an unknown entity under the water trying to grab and pull me,” Thomson said. “I was in shock, I was in pain, I was injured.”

As legal defenses go, both were total bullshit. The kind of disingenuous nonsense you’d expect from gray pony-tailed dork who prefers blow-up toys to any one of a million superior wave riding technologies. Really pussy shit, if we’re being honest. But what do you expect from a middle-aged man who acts like a asshole then goes after a diminutive woman after she calls him out?

Despite the prospect of serious jail time, when it came time for sentencing Magistrate Stafford agreed with defense counsel’s argument that Thomson has already been punished for his actions by all the mean words people wrote about him online.

Defense lawyer, Andrew Sochacki, said the media had been “baying for blood” and his client, Thomson, had suffered psychological distress as a result of abuse on social media. “It has been disgusting and horrifying,” Mr Sochacki said. 

Magistrate Stafford said people who made such attacks on social media needed to be aware they could be taken into account by the court and eventually benefit the person they were seeking to punish.

Nevertheless, Stafford felt that internet words alone weren’t sufficient punishment and handed Thomson 300 hours of community service to be served over a two year period.

There’s two ways to read this: either Thomson got away relatively scot-free, or the magistrate decided that ongoing internet vigilante justice should feature as part of his punishment. In addition to picking up trash, or whatever it is they make people do in Australia for community service.

To Thomson it undoubtedly sends a clear message: you won’t be held accountable for your actions. Which kinda sucks, I guess. Now the guy knows he can burn anyone he wants, go on the attack after, and walk away without real consequences.


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