A Bedlington man cleared of a one-punch attack on an Aussie rugby star has been awarded A$100,000 in damages after winning a defamation case against a TV network.
Sam Oliver hit the headlines when he was accused of flooring James Stannard with a 'king hit' - Australian slang for a single punch - outside a hotel in Sydney in the early hours of March 30 last year.
Following the hearing, the Nine News Network broadcast a report calling the incident "a coward punch which ended the career of Rugby Sevens captain James Stannard".
Now Mr Oliver has been awarded A$100,000 (£54,600) after a judge found the Australian network's report wrongly depicted Mr Oliver as being a coward who punched a defenceless man causing him grievous injury.
Federal Court judge Michael Lee rejected Nine's argument that its report of the verdict was fair.
Mr Stannard, who announced his retirement from rugby last June, struck his head on the pavement and suffered a fractured skull, spending two nights in hospital after the incident.
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