A young British backpacker has been acquitted from the floor of the former Australian rugby captain during a discussion outside a kebab shop.
Sam Oliver, 23, said he acted in self-defense when he punched then-captain and Olympian James Stannard, 35, at Coogee, Sydney, early on March 30.
After a two-and-a-half-day hearing at the Downing Center Local Court, Judge Richard Funston discovered on Wednesday that Oliver is not guilty of reckless endangerment.
Sam Oliver (pictured), 23, said he acted in self-defense when he hit James Stannard, 35, in Coogee, Sydney, early on March 30.
After a two-and-a-half-day hearing at the Downing Center Local Court, Judge Richard Funston discovered Wednesday that Oliver is not guilty of recklessly causing serious bodily harm (In the picture: James Stannard)
Mr. Funston noted that the "critical finding" was that Oliver's facial injuries "must have occurred" when he argued with Stannard and not when he ran away and Stannard's colleagues approached him.
It was not in dispute that he punched the captain, who was then a national, but Oliver testified on Tuesday that it was "for his own protection". after Stannard allegedly gave him the first blow to the left eye.
The CCTV images show the couple separated from Coogee Bay Hotel after the security personnel evicted the clients at 3 a. M.
Prosecutor Burton Ko argued that "there was only one blow" and Oliver's injuries sustained when he was approached by the current captain Lewis Holland, who had left with Stannard, while trying to escape from the scene.
The players were dismissing the then coach Andrew Friend, who helped stop the alleged attacker.
Oliver said he was "in good spirits" and waiting for his housemate to buy food at the kebab shop when Stannard, "a man he did not know," broke away from his own group and approached.
The prosecutor asked: & # 39; What did he (Stannard) say? & # 39;
Oliver replied: "Here's another Pommy c ***."
Oliver said he was "in a good mood" and waiting for his roommate to get food from the kebab shop when Stannard, "a man he did not know," broke away from his own group and approached.
"I just retired, he was not a friend or someone I knew, I did not know how he knew I was Pommy," he said.
"I remember saying something like, 'You're all Pommies on the line, just to give it back a little.'
Oliver said Stannard was "getting aggressive, swelling his chest" before he escalated beyond the insults.
"All their body language changed and they hit me," he said, admitting that he had drunk from eight to ten pints when he "lashed out in retaliation."
"I must have instinctively tried to protect myself."
Oliver said Stannard was "getting aggressive, swelling his chest" before he climbed past the insults
The medical records mentioned in court show that Stannard was also intoxicated with a blood alcohol reading of 0.23.
At the court a video taken from a camera of the police body about the agent Maria Gregory, who interviewed the British citizen shortly after the alleged assault on Good Friday, was reproduced.
In the video, Oliver says he got into a discussion about & # 39; Pommies in general & # 39; and it got a little unpleasant & # 39;
& # 39; Hit me before hitting … look at my eye. I hit him back and then I ran away, "says the 22-year-old boy.
Oliver, supported by his father in court, has a work holiday visa until September 21.
In giving evidence, Stannard denied having called Mr. Oliver & # 39; Pommy c — & # 39; but he agreed that he refers to the English as & # 39; Poms & # 39; occasionally.
Stannard said the last thing he remembered was that the Coogee Bay Hotel's band ended when the pub closed at night.
Stannard said the last thing he remembered was that the Coogee Bay Hotel gang had ended when the pub closed at night.
& # 39; What was your next memory? & # 39; Mr. Ko asked.
"In the hospital," Stannard said. "I had an extremely painful head and blood came out of my ear, I was quite anxious, I did not know what was happening."
Stannard said he has "continued" vertigo after the incident and had to go to follow-up medical appointments for his fractured skull.
Stannard missed the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April because of head injuries and then retired.
His teammate, Lewis Holland, said at the hearing Monday that he "heard a heartbreaking sound" when his teammate was hit and fell.
& # 39; Rugby game. When you hear a good solid blow, the energy simply stops, "Holland said." I heard that, then I looked up and saw James fall to the ground. "
Holland said he saw someone running away, and he heard others in the crowd say, "Stop him." or & # 39; grab him & # 39; before pursuing him. His teammate, Ben O & Donnell, hit the man first, and when Holland arrived, he knocked the man to the ground.
"At the time I was injured, so I was running pretty slow," Holland said. & # 39; Arrived and just made a tackle & # 39;
Magistrate Richard Funston said the "critical finding" was that Oliver's facial injuries "must have occurred" when he argued with Stannard and not when he fled