It was alleged that Callum Le Poidevin, 21, had tripped, or thrown in some kind of martial arts move, saxophonist Bretton Smeed at the Bel Air, breaking his knee so badly that he required major surgery. He had denied a charge of causing grievous bodily harm.
Mr Le Poidevin denied the assault, and after six witnesses had given their testimony, Judge Graeme McKerrell said he could not be satisfied that the defendant was the person who had attacked Mr Smeed.
The defendant did not give evidence and no witnesses were called by defence advocate Paul Lockwood.
The advocate highlighted inconsistencies in the witnesses’ identification of the person they believed carried out the assault.
While some said he had a black eye, others did not recall noticing this.
Another witness said the person he thought to be the attacker was wearing a black T-shirt and he had not noticed anything unusual about his appearance .
Advocate Lockwood said that Mr Le Poidevin had a full-arm ‘sleeve’ tattoo, and had been wearing a long-sleeved shirt that night.
Judge McKerrell, who sitting as a Lt-Bailiff, questioned why the police had not gone ahead with any form of identification procedure, even though DC David Parrott had said they had not believed it would have helped, given discrepancies in some witnesses’ description of the attacker.
The judge said he had to decide the case based on identification evidence.
‘Whether or not I think the defendant was the assailant in this nasty and unpleasant attack does not matter,’ he said.
‘On the evidence before me I simply cannot be sure. I therefore find the defendant not guilty.’
Mr Le Poidevin appeared from custody and returned there afterwards, pending committal to the Royal Court next month on another matter.