A British man accused of flooring a former Australian rugby captain with a “king hit” says he was acting in self defence, a court has heard.
Sam Oliver, 23, is accused of attacking James Stannard outside a kebab shop in Sydney on 30 March.
The 35-year-old, who used to captain Australia’s rugby sevens team, suffered a fractured skull after hitting his head on the floor and spent two nights in hospital.
A “king hit” is Australian slang for a sudden, single-punch knockdown.
Oliver’s lawyer claims the Australian called the Newcastle man a “pommy c***” and threw the first punch, giving him a black eye.
The second day of the case was shown body-cam footage in which Oliver tells police there had been an argument. “I defended myself, that’s all it was,” says the Briton.
In a later interview video, he tells them he punched Mr Stannard in “self protection”.
A paramedic told the hearing she had seen Oliver with “very recent bruising” around his eye.
“He said that there was a fight but denied the king hit,” said Acacia Vormister.
Mr Stannard retired from rugby in June and has previously denied having a “degree of dislike for Englishmen”.
He said his last memory before waking up in hospital was of a band finishing playing at the Coogee Bay Hotel. He had been at the venue with teammates and friends and left at about 3am.
Prosecutors claim there was only one punch thrown – by Oliver.
Two men were seen arguing on the footpath near the Erciyes kebab shop, a witness told the court on Monday.
Prosecutor Burton Ko said: “He saw what he describes as a blonde man – which the crown says was the accused – take three quick steps towards the bald man and king hit him.
“The prosecution says that James Stannard fell to the ground, cracked his head on the concrete footpath; he lost consciousness and started bleeding from his right ear.”
Oliver ran off and was chased by some of Mr Stannard’s friends, the court heard.
The Briton denies grievous bodily harm and an alternative charge of assault.
The trial in Sydney continues.