The father of former England footballers Gary and Phil Neville has been cleared of sexually assaulting a woman.
Neville Neville, 64, admitted he engaged in sexual activity with the middle-aged complainant in her car just 20 yards from his house but had insisted it was consensual.
The woman told a jury at Bolton Crown Court Neville had drunkenly forced himself upon her when she gave him a lift after a night out in Bury, Greater Manchester in the early hours of March 23.
But the allegation was described by Neville as a “nightmare” in police interviews read to the court in which he detailed how they had shared a passionate kiss, before there was sexual touching, to which he said she had “responded” but then he had gone home after the woman had said she did not wish things to go further.
Asked why he had kissed the woman near his own home, he had told the court: “I have got the most wonderful family in the world... I made a major error.
“I cannot even say it was a mistake. I knew what I was doing. I was enjoying the moment. She was enjoying the moment.
“When it all finished it became a mistake. My biggest nightmare.”
Neville bowed his head yesterday as the foreman delivered the not guilty verdict after the jury deliberated for just under 75 minutes.
He then breathed a sigh of relief and looked upwards before he mouthed “Thank you” in the direction of the jury.
After he was told he could leave the dock, he stepped out and hugged his legal team.
Asked for a comment outside the courtroom, Neville said: “I can’t say anything right now. Maybe later.”
His son, Gary, who cried as the verdict was delivered, stepped in and said: “Dad, come on. He won’t be saying anything.”