FORMER Emmerdale actor Cy Chadwick has been found not guilty of a sexual offence against a boy which was alleged to have taken place more than 25 years ago.
A jury at Leeds Crown Court took less than two hours to reach a unanimous verdict following a week-long trial.
Mr Chadwick, 45, wept as he left the dock to be embraced by friends and family members who had supported him throughout the trial.
Current and former cast members of the ITV farming soap also sat in the public gallery to support the television producer during the trial.
One former co-star gave evidence as part of the defence case during the trial.
After the hearing, Mr Chadwick declined to comment on the case but said he wished to thank the judge and jury members involved in the trial.
The prosecution had alleged Mr Chadwick carried out the offence on the youngster in his bedroom at the pub in Leeds where he lived with his parents in the late 1980s.
Mr Chadwick, who played the character Nick Bates in the soap for more than ten years, denied one offence of indecent assault on a male.
It was claimed the incident took place between 1985 and 1987 when Mr Chadwick was aged 17 or 18 and the boy was aged eight or nine.
Geraldine Kelly, prosecuting, said Mr Chadwick’s mother and step-father owned the Fox and Grapes pub in Pudsey, where the incident is alleged to have taken place. Mrs Kelly said the boy’s mother knew Mr Chadwick’s parents and the incident took place when the youngster was staying at the premises.
It was claimed Mr Chadwick abused the boy on one occasion while he was sleeping on a camp bed in his bedroom. The prosecutor told the jury of nine women and three men the assault happened for between 30 and 60 seconds.
Mr Chadwick also gave evidence at the trial where he denied that the offence ever took place.
His barrister, Louise Blackwell, QC, asked: “You know what the allegation is Mr Chadwick, did that or anything like that ever happen.” Mr Chadwick replied: “No it did not.”
Ms Blackwell then asked: “From the early to mid 1980s, did you have any sexual interest in children at all?”
Mr Chadwick said: “Absolutely not.”
The barrister also asked: “Did you ever do anything of a sexual nature to (the complainant).
Mr Chadwick replied: “I never did anything of a sexual nature to (the complainant). I treated that child with respect.”
He said he remembered the youngster staying at his home and spending time with him but denied any wrongdoing.