UK vacationer Sam Oliver wins Australian defamation case

Sam Oliver outside court in SydneyPicture copyright

Picture caption

Sam Oliver was discovered not responsible in Sydney final yr

A British vacationer who was acquitted of assaulting Australia’s former Rugby Sevens captain James Stannard has gained a defamation case in opposition to a TV community.

Sam Oliver, from Newcastle, mentioned Australia’s 9 Community had wrongly depicted him as being responsible of a “cowardly” prison act in Sydney.

He was discovered not responsible final yr.

On Friday, a choose rejected 9’s argument that its information report of the decision was truthful – ordering it to pay Mr Oliver A$100,000 (£54,000; $70,000).

The information report had described the incident as “a coward punch that ended the profession” of Mr Stannard. It was launched with the phrases “no penalty”.

9 argued in court docket that it was a good report and an expression of opinion regarding a matter of public curiosity.

Nonetheless, Decide Michael Lee dominated that it had wrongly portrayed Mr Oliver as a coward who had punched a defenceless man and ruined his profession.

9, one among Australia’s largest networks, mentioned it was “upset” and would take into account an attraction.

‘Identify dragged via mud’

Mr Oliver informed the BBC final yr that native media had portrayed him as a thug following the unprovoked struggle.

He mentioned Mr Stannard threw the primary punch, giving him a black eye, and he had instinctively hit again.

“It was robust to take care of, seeing my identify get dragged via the mud,” he mentioned.

His attorneys had sought over A$250,000 in damages, in response to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Decide Lee mentioned using the time period “coward punch” had conveyed a selected that means that the puncher was “not solely committing a violent act but in addition, distinctly, is contemptibly missing the braveness to behave in a correct or truthful method”.

Mr Stannard was handled for a fractured cranium after the incident and retired from rugby final June.

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