A SADDLEWORTH-BASED Emmerdale actor has been cleared of assaulting a man after a confrontation outside a pub – even though he admitted biting him.
Mark Jordon lost his temper following comments about his daughter Poppy as he celebrated his engagement to a co-star.
The 54-year-old, who plays Daz Spencer in the ITV soap, first confronted Andrew Potts and his partner Rosalind O’Neill after, ‘I hope they use a condom,’ and, ‘I wouldn’t let my daughter act like that,’ were said over the way she was acting with her boyfriend on a pub terrace.
A court also heard the 18-year-old was referred to as a ‘slag.’
However, it was alleged Mr Jordon then sought them out in a taxi and assaulted the couple, biting Mr Potts on the face and thumb and shoving Ms O’Neill to the ground.
But after a seven-day trial, a jury cleared him of three charges – unlawful wounding, affray and common assault – now he is looking to get his career back on track.
Mr Jordon 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.”
Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court saw footage of the first confrontation outside the Farrar’s Arms in Grasscroft at about 9.10pm on July 1 last year, as Jordon celebrated his engagement to Laura Norton, who plays Kerry Wyatt in Emmerdale.
He was held back before breaking free and approaching Mr Potts, who was seen on camera throwing punches and kicking out before being ushered away.
His trial was also showed mobile phone footage of the later face-off further down Oldham Road, involving the 54-year-old.
Mr Potts told the court Jordon screamed: “I’ll f***ing kill you, you old b****d,” and claimed he had been taking cocaine, which was denied and Mr Jordon said a punch from the pensioner made his nose bleed.
It was also claimed the actor ‘growled like a mad dog’ before pushing Ms O’Neill to the floor and biting Mr Potts on the thumb and face.
However, the court was told he bit Mr Potts in self-defence as the pensioner attacked him with him saying: “It was not planned… It was pure instinct.”
Mr Jordon, who the court was told suffered a fractured wrist as Mr Potts kicked him, was seen taking notes as he sat in the dock as prosecutor Robert Smith said: “What the Crown say happened following that piece of footage is that he attacked Andrew Potts, biting him to the face.
“When you look at the injuries sustained by Andrew Potts, the defendant’s ultimate response to the grievance was well above and beyond what was reasonable in the circumstances, well above reasonable self-defence.
“He took Rosalind O’Neill to the floor and bit Andrew Potts on two separate parts of his body, causing him to bleed.”
Jordon, of Tamewater Court, Dobcross, denied all three charges put to him as Emmerdale co-stars 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 to support him.
His character 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.