Emmerdale actor Mark Jordon is looking forward to getting back to his career after he was cleared of attacking a pensioner in a pub.
The 54-year-old was found not guilty of affray, unlawful wounding and assault by beating after he bit OAP Andrew Potts. Jordon, who played Daz Spencer in the Yorkshire-based soap, told the jury he bit Mr Potts in self defense.
As he left Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court after a seven-day trial, he hugged fiancee Laura Norton, who plays Kerry Wyatt in the soap, outside the courtroom.
In a statement he thanked his legal team, the judge and the jury as he spoke outside court with Miss Norton, who was crying in court as the verdicts were announced.
‘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 said.
‘I’m looking forward to getting back to our engagement and my career, which has been on hold.
‘I just want to thank our families, our friends, our work colleagues and especially the members of the public, who have just been delightful and supportive.’
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, appeared in the public gallery during the trial to support Jordon.
Giving evidence on Monday 29 July, Andrew Potts, 68, wiped away tears as he described the ‘frightening’ assault which came after Mrs O’Neill made a disparaging remark about Jordan’s teenage daughter, who was straddling a boy in the beer garden.
The court heard the row broke out outside the Farrars Arms on 1 July when Mrs O’Neill commented: ‘I hope they are using protection’; the jury was told Mrs O’Neill apologised when Jordon confronted her, but Mr Potts responded: ‘I wouldn’t let my daughter act like that in front of me.’
CCTV footage showed him having to be held back from Mr Potts, who threw some punches at him.
Mr Potts then claimed that Jordon was dragged back from him as he screamed: ‘I’ll f****** kill you, you old bastard.’
He said they left the pub and had walked down the road when a taxi pulled up in front of them and Jordon got out and pushed Mrs O’Neill to the floor.
Mr Potts claimed Jordon bit his thumb and the palm of his hand, spitting out a chunk of skin, and the pair of them fell to the ground, where Jordon bit his eyebrow.
He denied a suggestion from Keith Harrison, defending, that he had pushed Mrs O’Neill out of the way before jumping on Jordon’s back and putting his fingers and thumb inside his mouth to grab his cheek.
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