Mark Jordon arrives at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court this morning with actress Laura Norton
Emmerdale actor Mark Jordon has been found not guilty of assaulting a 68-year-old pensioner after a ‘drunken’ row in a pub beer garden as he celebrated his engagement.
Jordon, who plays Daz Spencer in the Yorkshire-based soap, was accused of attacking pensioner Andrew Potts, 68, and assaulting his partner, Rosalind O’Neill, in Oldham on July 1 last year.
The trial, at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, heard that a row started in the beer garden of the Farrars Arms, where Jordon, 54, was celebrating his engagement to fellow cast member Laura Norton, who plays Kerry Wyatt.
The jury was told that 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 ‘sl*g’ 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 act like that in front of him.
Mr Potts told the court that Jordon screamed: ‘I’ll f****** kill you, you old bastard.’
CCTV footage showed the actor having to be held back from Mr Potts, who threw some punches at him.
CCTV stills show the moment the Emmerdale actor, who is the only person not blurred out, launch into a furious rage at pensioner Andrew Potts in a beer garden
The former Heartbeat actor said one of the punches caused his nose to bleed; however, Mr Potts said he did not hit Jordon’s nose and alleged he had been taking cocaine, which the actor denied.
The court heard that 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 that Jordon bit the pensioner’s thumb and the palm of his hand, spitting out a chunk of skin, and the pair of them fell to the ground, where the actor bit Mr Potts’ eyebrow.
However, Jordon told the jury he bit Mr Potts in self-defence after the pensioner attacked him.
He said: ‘It was not planned, regretful and in the moment. It was pure instinct.’
Giving evidence, Jordon (left) said Mr Potts (right), who had punched him in the nose during the row outside the Farrars Arms, kicked him in the groin and they both fell in the road
During the trial, Emmerdale 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 attended court to support Jordon.
Miss Norton has previously accompanied Jordon to court but was not with him when he arrived on Monday.
Actor Arsher Ali, who has appeared in TV shows Line Of Duty and Ackley Bridge and is married to Emmerdale actor Roxy Shahidi (Leyla Harding), was among those in the public gallery as the jury was sent out.
Judge Mark Savill told the jurors: ‘Mark Jordon is an actor.
‘You try this case, please, only on the evidence you have seen and heard in this trial.
‘Somebody’s job has no relevance to that and you will treat Mr Jordon in the same way as you would any member of the public, save where his occupation is relevant.’
The actor, who plays Daz Spencer in the soap, can be seen aggressively confronting Mr Potts as other people appear to break up the row