Fashion Wayne Cooper pleads not guilty to assaulting model wife Sarah Marsh

Fashion designer Wayne Cooper has pleaded not guilty to assaulting his wife and will face a hearing to contest the allegations in August. 

The allegations against Cooper date back more than six years and he was ‘extremely distressed’ when the charges were laid without warning. 

Cooper is accused of assaulting his former model wife Sarah Marsh and has been hit with an interim apprehended violence order. 

As well as the usual restraining order conditions preventing assault, threats, stalking, harassment and intimidation, Cooper must not approach Marsh or contact her in any way unless through a lawyer. 

Fashion designer Wayne Cooper has pleaded not guilty to assaulting his model wife Sarah and will face a hearing to contest the allegations in August. Cooper is pictured with Marsh in 2011

Fashion designer Wayne Cooper has pleaded not guilty to assaulting his model wife Sarah and will face a hearing to contest the allegations in August. Cooper is pictured with Marsh in 2011

Cooper, who has a previous conviction for attacking onetime model Marsh, was arrested at his home in Myocum near Byron Bay, in the Northern Rivers Region in NSW, on May 31. He is pictured outside Waverley Local Court in 2008

Cooper, who has a previous conviction for attacking onetime model Marsh, was arrested at his home in Myocum near Byron Bay, in the Northern Rivers Region in NSW, on May 31. He is pictured outside Waverley Local Court in 2008

The 58-year-old has a previous conviction for attacking 54-eyar-old Marsh in an incident at their then Sydney beachside mansion 14 years ago. 

Cooper is now charged with two counts of domestic violence-related assault at Tamarama between 1.29pm and 1.30pm on December 14, 2015 and between 4.30pm and 4.35pm on May 15 the following year. 

He was arrested at the couple’s new home in Myocum near Byron Bay in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales at 9.30am on May 31. 

‘I had no idea this was about to happen to me and I am in deep shock and extremely distressed,’ he has said. 

Cooper was not present in Sydney’s Waverley Local Court when the case was first mentioned on June 9 but a written submission was made on his behalf.

He has entered not guilty pleas to both charges which are set down for a two-hour hearing at the same court on August 11. 

In March Cooper and Marsh paid $5.09 million for a five-bedroom, six-bathroom estate with a tennis court, resort-style swimming pool and landscaped gardens at Myocum near Byron Bay

In March Cooper and Marsh paid $5.09 million for a five-bedroom, six-bathroom estate with a tennis court, resort-style swimming pool and landscaped gardens at Myocum near Byron Bay

Cooper and Marsh sold their Tamarama home for $11 million in February, having bought the five-bedroom, five-bathroom house for $5.5 million in 2011. 

The next month they paid $5.09 million for a five-bedroom, six-bathroom estate with a tennis court, resort-style swimming pool and landscaped gardens at Myocum.

‘All I know is I have been in Byron Bay for the last five weeks on my own trying to get renovations done to our new property,’ Cooper told the Daily Telegraph on June 4.

‘This charge relates back to 2015/2016 pushing a mobile phone out of my face when being videoed when having an argument over throwing a white teddy bear across our bedroom etc seven years ago.

‘All I know is Sarah brought these charges last week and I got arrested in Byron and it was a complete shock to me.’

Cooper and Marsh sold their home at Tamarama in Sydney's eastern suburbs for $11,050,000 in February, having bought the five-bedroom house (above) for $5.5million in 2011

Cooper and Marsh sold their home at Tamarama in Sydney’s eastern suburbs for $11,050,000 in February, having bought the five-bedroom house (above) for $5.5million in 2011

In May last year Cooper and Marsh denied rumours they had ended their 25-year relationship after a newspaper report claimed they were ‘going their separate ways’.

Cooper, who has two children with Marsh, told Daily Mail Australia at the time the story was ‘completely fabricated’.

‘My wife Sarah and I are currently in Byron Bay for a friend’s birthday and looking at real estate,’ he said.

‘We are currently speaking to our lawyer regarding a course of action in response to this damaging article printed on Mother’s Day.’

Cooper said of his recent arrest on assault charges he was 'extremely distressed' and had 'no idea this was about to happen'. He is pictured outside the NSW Supreme Court in 2008

Cooper said of his recent arrest on assault charges he was ‘extremely distressed’ and had ‘no idea this was about to happen’. He is pictured outside the NSW Supreme Court in 2008

Who is Wayne Cooper?

British-born Cooper grew up in London’s East End and moved to Australia in 1985, studying fashion design at East Sydney Technical College.

He started the labels Brave, Wayne Cooper and Wayne. His clothes were once sold at two boutiques in Melbourne and are now available at Myer department stores.

Cooper’s Australian Fashion Week shows have featured models including Linda Evangelista, Eva Herzigova and Sarah O’Hare (now Murdoch) and he was a regular guest on the reality TV series Australia’s Next Top Model. 

Cooper was placed on a two-year good behaviour bond in December 2008 after pleading guilty to assaulting Marsh just days after she had cancer surgery.

Charges of assault causing bodily harm and stalking and intimidation were withdrawn at Waverley Local Court.

The charges arose from a dispute at the couple’s Tamarama home (not the one recently sold) six months earlier and Cooper initially said he would ‘vigorously defend’ them all.

Cooper declined to comment outside court on that occasion but Marsh said she was happy with the result. 

‘The truth came out, that’s what I’m here for,’ she said.

The designer’s barrister Ian McClintock SC told the court Cooper and Marsh’s relationship deteriorated in the past couple of years and they sought counselling.

The pair were arguing about money on the night of the attack in June.

‘The emotional temperature of the relationship went up,’ Mr McClintock said. 

‘Old coals were raked over and past disputes were raised.’

The assault occurred when Marsh tried to demonstrate how she alleged Cooper pushed her while on holiday at Port Douglas in far north Queensland.

Cooper was placed on a two-year good behaviour bond in December 2008 after pleading guilty to assaulting Marsh just days after she had cancer surgery

Cooper was placed on a two-year good behaviour bond in December 2008 after pleading guilty to assaulting Marsh just days after she had cancer surgery 

Mr McClintock said his client showed Marsh what he believed had happened by pushing her to the chest and shoulder.

‘We accept… that there was a hostile intent in the end and there was an assault,’ Mr McClintock told the court.

The court heard Marsh had surgery just days before the assault to have her gall bladder removed due to cancer.

Cooper unsuccessfully sought to avoid conviction so he could continue his regular travels to the US.

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