Rugby player's fatal punch 'self defence'

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The Independent Online
A RUGBY player accused of the manslaughter of a rival during a match told an Old Bailey jury yesterday he had punched out in self-defence and had not meant to kill.

William Hardy, 25, a hooker for the West Drayton-based Centaurs Club, west London, said: 'I was receiving punches and thought I was likely to receive more.'

Mr Hardy, of Chiswick, west London, denies the manslaughter of Seamus Lavelle who was playing for Hendon on 13 March last year. He was felled by a single blow and died from traumatic brain injuries two days later. The trial was adjourned until today.

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