MUSICIAN Xavier Rudd has told Byron Bay Local Court a man "screamed" at him to "f*ck off" and "showered" him with spit moments before the singer allegedly pushed him on New Brighton beach.
The 39-year-old is defending an assault charge over the incident which allegedly occurred around 7.30am on November 9 last year.
He pleaded not guilty and faced a court hearing on Friday.
The furious encounter was allegedly sparked by one of Rudd's cattle dogs chasing a dog owned by Ocean Shores resident James Liston, 63.
The court heard from other witnesses who walk their dogs on the beach every morning and who were friends with Liston, who told the court that Rudd's dogs had a reputation for aggression.
Witness Heather Wales told the court that moments before the alleged assault Rudd's blue heeler, which was muzzled, had tried to attack her border collie, and she had shouted at Rudd "you need to keep that dog off the beach, it's dangerous".
Another woman Anna Holden told the court that Ms Wales had told Rudd to "get your f**king dogs off the beach", before Liston had started shouting at him as well.
She said that Rudd had appeared "quite calm" so was "shocked" when he suddenly pushed Liston.
After the push Rudd left the scene with his dogs then returned and apparently apologised, saying "that was totally inappropriate and can we talk about this", Ms Holden said.
In Rudd's version of events, he was told "get those f**king dogs off the beach" by Wales.
"Next minute this guy started screaming at me out of the blue... 'you need to f**k off, get your f**ing dogs off the beach'," he told the court.
"He was pointing to my face and I was getting showered by his spit. Then I pushed him away," Rudd said.
Liston told the court he was pushed back from the impact "two or three metres" and began to hyperventilate, resorting to lying on the sand on his side to lower his heart rate.
"I was concerned about my heart... because of my age," he said.
After he recovered, Liston told the court he said to Rudd: "You're weak as piss, you just bashed a 60-year-old man, and I again told him to f**k off"."
Later, when Rudd approached him, Liston said he told him: "I'm going to the doctor and I'm going to the police to report you'." He also allegedly told Rudd: "I'll own your f**king house".
The court heard that Liston went to an Ocean Shores medical clinic after the incident and was attended by two nurses.
Rudd's manager Ross McPherson was called to give Rudd a character reference and said Rudd was "like his music would suggest very much a calm person". "
The hearing was adjourned to November 17.
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