Man cleared of glass assault in Plymouth bar
A MAN who struck a stranger in the face with a glass has been cleared of assault.
Jonathan Wilkes, aged 23, has been acquitted by a jury of attacking the man in a bar late at night.
The panel of six men and six women took about five and a half hours to find Mr Wilkes not guilty of two charges after a four-day trial at Plymouth Crown Court.
He closed his eyes in relief upon hearing the unanimous verdicts and quietly thanked the jury as family and friends cheered with delight at the back of court.
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Mr Wilkes, now living in Birmingham but formally of Belgrave Lane, Mutley, denied assaulting Sean Tidball with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at the Mousetrap on North Hill on November 25, 2011.
He also pleaded not guilty to an alternative charge of maliciously wounding Mr Tidball without intent.
Mr Wilkes, who was then studying to be a teacher, admitted striking Mr Tidball in the face with his hand but said at that moment he was unaware he was holding a glass.
He said he acted in self-defence because Mr Tidball had him in a headlock.
Mr Tidball was left with three large cuts to his face.
Mr Wilkes said in evidence that he his ambition was to be a primary school teacher.
He added he had put his studies on hold and had gone to work for a logistics company.
Mr Wilkes said he was hoping to go back to university.
He was greeted with hugs from relatives as he left the dock and declined to comment further.