Lifesaver says shark attack 'spiral' led to attack on woman
A LIFESAVER who threw a speaker at a woman's head near Geelong was drinking heavily after learning of the death of shark attack victim Robin Pedretti, a court has heard.
Barry Wood, 57, of Tweed Heads, appeared in custody at Geelong Magistrates' Court on Tuesday after a spate of incidents overnight Sunday.
The court was told Wood was a friend of Mr Pedretti, who was killed by a shark while surfing in northern NSW on Sunday morning.
Defence lawyer Richard Jakobson said the pair knew each other through Wood's position as a lifesaver working near the Queensland-NSW border, where the attack took place.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Victoria McPhee said police were called to Ocean Grove about 9.30pm Sunday after Wood threw a speaker at a woman known to him.
The speaker struck the woman in the head, causing minor bruising.
She said Wood had been drinking heavily and was becoming increasingly agitated prior to the assault, while he also threatened to kill the woman.
Wood was arrested and taken to Geelong police station, where he was served an intervention order preventing him from contacting the victim.
However, upon his release from custody, he phoned the woman before returning to her house and breaking into the property while she was not present.
Police were called and took Wood into custody.
The court heard that prior to becoming a lifesaver, Wood was a promising rugby league player who represented Australia in overseas matches.
Mr Jakobson said his career derailed after a leg injury when he was 25.
He said the incident on the weekend came after Wood learned of Mr Pedretti's death, causing the grandfather to "spiral" and start drinking.
Magistrate Simon Guthrie said he was sorry to hear of the death, but added that it was no excuse for Wood's offending.
Wood was placed on an 18-month good behaviour bond, without conviction, and fined $500.
He must also complete a men's behaviour change program.