Emmerdale actor Mark Jordon has been cleared of unlawfully wounding a pensioner who he bit following a row in a beer garden.
Jordon, who plays Daz Spencer in the Yorkshire-based soap, was also found not guilty of affray and of assault by beating when the jury at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester returned its verdicts on Tuesday.
His girlfriend Laura Norton, who plays Kerry Wyatt in the soap, was in tears in the public gallery as the verdicts were delivered.
The 54-year-old actor had claimed he bit Andrew Potts, 68, in self defence when the pensioner attacked him following an altercation outside the Farrars Arms in Oldham on July 1 last year.
He denied pushing Mr Potts’s partner Rosalind O’Neill to the floor and said CCTV footage from the beer garden showed him trying to grab Mr Potts’s phone, not trying to be violent.
The trial heard the row started in the beer garden, where Jordon was celebrating his engagement to Miss Norton.
The jury was told tensions flared when comments were made by Mr Potts and Mrs O’Neill about Jordon’s daughter Poppy, 18.
Jordon claimed Mr Potts had called the teenager a “slag” and said he had video of her which he would post on YouTube.
Mr Potts denied that but told the court he had told Jordon he would not let his daughter behave like that in front of him.
Mr Potts told the court Jordon screamed: “I’ll f****** kill you, you old bastard.”
CCTV footage showed him having to be held back from Mr Potts, who threw some punches at him.
The former Heartbeat actor said one of the punches caused his nose to bleed, however Mr Potts said he did not hit his nose and alleged he had been taking cocaine, which the actor denied.
The court heard Mr Potts and his partner left the pub and walked down the road, but were later confronted by Jordon who got out of a taxi.
Mr Potts told the jury: “He then came towards me and he was still screaming and shouting and his face was… it was just horrendous, he was growling like a mad dog.”
The court heard Jordon bit the pensioner’s thumb and the palm of his hand and the pair of them fell to the ground, where Jordon bit his eyebrow.
Jordon, of Tamewater Court, Dobcross, Oldham, told the jury he bit Mr Potts in self defence.
He said: “It was not planned, regretful and in the moment. It was pure instinct.”
Co-stars including Nick Miles, who plays Jimmy King, Sammy Winward, who played Katie Sugden, and Chris Chittell, who is the longest serving character in the soap as Eric Pollard, have appeared in court to support Jordon.