James Stannard assault: Briton pleads self defence in Sydney

The defendant claims James Stannard threw the first punch. Courtesy: BBC

A British tourist accused of a one-punch attack on an Australian rugby player said he had been acting in self defence, a court has heard.

Sam Oliver is accused of knocking former Rugby Sevens captain James Stannard to the pavement, fracturing his skull.

The 23-year-old from Newcastle hit the player outside a kebab shop in Sydney in the early hours of 30 March.

He denies recklessly causing grievous bodily harm.

He also denies an alternative charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

His lawyer told the court hearing at Sydney’s Downing Centre that Mr Stannard had sworn at Mr Oliver, using an anti-British expletive, and had thrown the first punch, leaving him with a black eye.

‘The king hit’ 

The court was shown police footage from a body-camera recorded shortly after the fight in the Coogee suburb of the city.

In it Mr Oliver can be heard telling the officer: “I defended myself, that’s all it was.”

There had been an argument and he had been hit himself, he told the officer.

In a later police interview he said he had punched Mr Stannard in “self protection”, the court heard.

A paramedic also told the court she had seen Mr Oliver with “very recent bruising” around his eye.

He had told her “there was a fight but denied the king hit”, Australian slang for a single punch, she said.

The court has previously heard Mr Stannard deny having a “degree of dislike for Englishmen”.

The prosecution has said there was only one hit, by Mr Oliver.

The hearing continues.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-tyne-45482167