The Byron Bay-based NSW Greens MP is facing charges of assaulting an alleged former lover.
The Byron Bay-based NSW Greens MP is facing charges of assaulting an alleged former lover. The Northern Star

Byron Greens MP to face assault charges

OUTSPOKEN Greens State parliamentarian Ian Cohen is to face charges of assaulting an alleged former lover.

Mr Cohen will appear in Byron Bay Local Court on June 6 charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault.

The charges relate to an incident which is alleged to have occurred on June 2, 2006.

Byron Bay women Donna Davis, 57, contacted police on January 31, 2007, to make the allegations against Mr Cohen.

Byron Bay detectives conducted a lengthy investigation and charged Mr Cohen on April 8.

Detectives say there are witnesses to the alleged incident.

Mr Cohen told The Northern Star he could not say much about the accusations because the matter was before the court.

"I will defend my position that I am innocent," he said.

"I'm not guilty and in the process of briefing counsel."

Earlier he had told a Sydney newspaper he was 'looking forward to having a forum in a court of law to air these issues'.

The Northern Star contacted Ms Davis, who was also unwilling to comment.

Ms Davis runs a guesthouse in Byron Bay. She alleges she was Mr Cohen's lover for 'about a year'.

She is also the author of a book called Sins of the Mother about her experiences smuggling 2.3kg of cannabis resin into the country from India 1989 and doing time in Sydney's Mulawa Detention Centre whilst pregnant with her son Harper.

Mr Cohen joined The Greens in 1984 and was their first member to be elected to the NSW Parliament in 1995.

He was involved in the Nightcap Forest blockades and the Franklin Dam protests in the early 1980s.

Mr Cohen shot to international prominence when he was photographed on his surfboard holding on to the bow of a US warship in Sydney Harbour in 1986 as part of a protest about nuclear weapons in Australian ports.

Last year, during the APEC summit in Sydney, Mr Cohen wrote the words 'Lysistrata - Make Love Not War' on his surfboard and held it up before the wives of delegates at the exclusive Icebergs restaurant at Bondi Beach.


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