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'Nothing good happens after 2 o'clock' - Brit cleared of assault on rugby player speaks out

By Ian Cameron

A British man cleared of an assault on Australian Sevens player James Stannard has spoken following his court appearance.

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Stannard was due to lead his country in the upcoming Gold Coast Games on home soil, but was hospitalised after allegedly being punched in the head in the Sydney suburbs in the early hours of the morning in March.

The accused – Sam Oliver – claimed it was Stannard who threw the first punch after calling the Oliver a ‘pommy c***’. The defence claimed that Oliver (23) – who received a black eye – was simply defending himself.

Stannard teammates tackled the accused to the ground following the incident on the night in question, but their recollection of events were described as ‘blurred’.

The judge in the case – magistrate Richard Funston – found that the prosecution’s case had not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Alcohol was said to be a contributing factor in the case.

Cult-figure Stannard became the leading Australian points scorer in World Series history when he overtook Peter Miller’s tally of 631 in Wellington in January 2016. Stannard was a member of the Australian side that won a Silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India and captained the side that won the London Sevens at Twickenham in the same year.

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