Emmerdale star Mark Jordon has been cleared of attacking a pensioner after an argument in a beer garden.
The actor said he was looking forward to getting his career back on track after the ruling at Minshull Street Crown Court, where a jury found him not guilty of affray, unlawful wounding and assault by beating.
During the seven-day trial at the court in Manchester, the jury was told how the 54-year-old bit Andrew Potts, 68, after a row broke out at the Farrars Arms pub in Oldham on 1 July last year.
He had been drinking with family and friends to celebrate his engagement to fellow Emmerdale star Laura Norton, but drama erupted when Mr Potts’ partner, Rosalind O’Neill, insulted Jordon’s daughter.
She was claimed to have called Poppy, 18, a “s***”.
In CCTV footage shown in court, Jordon could be seen having to be held back from Mr Potts, who said the soap star had screamed: “I’ll f****** kill you, you old b******.”
Jordon claimed he was trying to grab a phone from Mr Potts, who claimed he had video of Poppy which he would post to YouTube.
Jordon, who plays Daz Spencer in the ITV show, denied a claim by Mr Potts that he had been taking cocaine and said a punch from the pensioner had made his nose bleed.
The jury was told that Mr Potts and Ms O’Neill left the venue after the altercation, but were later confronted by Jordon as he got out of a taxi.
Mr Potts said he “growled like a mad dog” before pushing Ms O’Neill to the floor and biting him on the thumb and face, but the actor said he bit him in self-defence as he had been attacked first.
The court heard how he suffered a fractured wrist as a result of being kicked by Mr Potts.
Jordon said: “It was not planned. It was pure instinct.”
The jury heard Mr Potts received £400 for two stories about the incident which appeared in The Sun , but he denied “boasting” that he might make £20,000 from the case.
He hugged his fiancee, who plays Kerry Wyatt in the soap, outside the courtroom after being cleared and thanked his legal team, the judge and the jury.
He also thanked his friends, family and colleagues, with several of his co-stars including Nick Miles and Sammy Witward appearing in the public gallery during the trial to support him.
“I really am grateful to the jury for proving my innocence and especially for proving the innocence of my loved ones, who’ve had to endure this awful ordeal with me this last year,” he added.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to our engagement and my career, which has been on hold.”
Jordon’s character was last seen in the soap back in January, when he moved away from the village to begin a new life in London.
A Emmerdale spokesman declined to comment on the verdicts but said there were “no current plans” for the character to return.
courtesy of Sky News