Friday, 31 October 2008

Fashion designer Cooper guilty of assault

Fashion designer Wayne Cooper has been placed on a two-year good behaviour bond for pushing his estranged wife Sarah Marsh during a domestic dispute.

Cooper, 45, today pleaded guilty to common assault stemming from an argument on June 19 at the couple's beachside home in Tamarama, in Sydney's east.

Earlier, charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and intimidation stemming from the incident were dropped.

Both were in Waverley Local Court today, where Magistrate Michael Dakin placed Cooper on the good behaviour bond, with conditions he stay away from Ms Marsh during that time.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Leesa McEvoy told the court Cooper pushed Ms Marsh during an argument over finances two weeks after she left hospital for gall bladder cancer surgery.

"This is not a matter that is trivial. It does involve domestic violence," Sergeant McEvoy told the court.

"Mr Cooper knew his partner had undergone surgery ... he was aware of that your honour."

Cooper's barrister Ian McClintock said his client was mimicking Ms Marsh when he pushed her, after she asked him how he could have allegedly pushed her on an earlier holiday.

Mr McClintock had argued for no conviction to be recorded, saying it may hinder Cooper's ability to travel abroad for business.

Mr McClintock said the couple's 12-year relationship had recently deteriorated and they sought counselling, during which Ms Marsh revealed she was in a relationship with someone else.

"We would suggest there is some elements to some degree ... of provocation by Ms Marsh," he said.

"This is a domestic argument that ascends on both sides."

Outside the court, Ms Marsh said she was relieved the matter had been dealt with.

"Absolutely," she said.

"I'm looking forward to November 25."

The former couple return to the NSW Supreme Court court next month to settle the separation of their assets.

Ms Marsh on Wednesday lost a bid to prevent Cooper selling their Tamarama house this weekend.

She had wanted the sale delayed until next February.

But NSW Supreme Court Justice Richard White ruled the sale could proceed on the grounds Cooper pay Ms Marsh $13,700 within seven days of the house sale.

Cooper must also pay the former model $17,000 within a week of her finding rental accommodation.

He currently pays Ms Marsh $500 a week in maintenance.

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