Emmerdale star Mark Jordon 'getting back to career' after being cleared of attacking pensioner
Emmerdale actor Mark Jordon has said he is looking forward to getting back to his career after he was cleared of attacking a pensioner.
The 54-year-old hugged fiancee Laura Norton, who plays Kerry Wyatt in the soap, outside the courtroom after a jury found him not guilty of affray, unlawful wounding and assault by beating.
The seven-day trial at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court heard that Jordon bit 68-year-old Andrew Potts after a row broke out in a beer garden on July 1 last year.
Jordon 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.
He said: "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.
"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."
The court heard that Jordon had been drinking outside the Farrars Arms in Oldham with family and friends as they celebrated his engagement to Miss Norton.
But, the jury was told, a row broke out after Mr Potts's partner Rosalind O'Neill made a comment about Jordon's daughter Poppy, 18.
CCTV footage showed Jordon having to be held back from Mr Potts.
Jordon claimed he was trying to grab a phone from Mr Potts, who he said called the teenager a "slag" and claimed he had video of her which he would post on YouTube.
Mr Potts told the court Jordon screamed: "I'll ******* kill you, you old b******."
The actor, who plays Daz Spencer, denied Mr Potts's claims that he had been taking cocaine and said a punch from the pensioner made his nose bleed.
The jury was told Mr Potts and Ms O'Neill left the pub after the altercation but were later confronted by Jordon as he got out of a taxi.
Mr Potts said Jordon "growled like a mad dog" before pushing Ms O'Neill to the floor and biting him on the thumb and face.
Jordon told the court he bit Mr Potts in self-defence as the pensioner attacked him.
He said: "It was not planned... It was pure instinct."
The court heard Jordon, who had been due on the set of Emmerdale the day after his arrest, suffered a fractured wrist when he was kicked by Mr Potts.
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.
The jury heard that Mr Potts received £400 for two stories about the incident which appeared in The Sun newspaper, but he denied "boasting" that he might make £20,000 out of the case.
Jordon's character Daz Spencer was last seen on screens in Emmerdale in January, when he moved away from the village to begin a new life in London.
A spokesman for the soap declined to comment on the verdicts but said there were "no current plans" for the character to return.