Australian Swimmer Ordered to Pay Damages

July 25, 2011

A civil court judge has ordered swimmer Nick D’Arcy to pay at least 180,000 Australian dollars ($190,000) in damages to former Commonwealth Games champion Simon Cowley, who was injured in a bar room fight in 2008.

D’Arcy was convicted in a criminal court in 2009 of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm to Cowley – causing fractures to his jaw, eye socket, cheekbone and nose – but his 14-month jail sentence was suspended, meaning he did not spend any time in prison.

D’Arcy was also kicked off Australia’s team for the Beijing Olympics and was not allowed to compete in the 2009 world championships.

Cowley launched civil action in the District Court in Sydney, where judge Anthony Puckeridge on Monday said the effect of injuries to Cowley were “significant.”

D’Arcy, who claimed he hit Cowley in self defense during an altercation in a night club in March 2008, was not in court when the decision was handed down. The 23-year-old D’Arcy, who has returned to competition, is one of only two people in nine years to have beaten American world and Olympic champion Michael Phelps in the 200-meter butterfly.

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