A TESCO security officer has been cleared of an alleged ‘revenge attack’ on a drunken customer outside the Accrington store.
Matloob Akhtar, 37, was found not guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm, by a Burnley Crown Court jury, after a three-day trial.
Mr Akhtar, of Avenue Parade, Accrington was discharged by Recorder Abigail Hudson.
The jury heard the defendant was said by the prosecution to have lost his temper and delivered a heavy blow which knocked shopper Stephen Aldren out cold.
He landed heavily to the back his head and suffered a fractured skull in the incident, on November 10, 2012.
Prosecutor Timothy Brennand said Mr Aldren and another man had been misbehaving and ‘falling down drunk’ in the store and alleged Mr Akhtar ‘decided to teach him a lesson he would not forget’. The two men had been ejected from the shop.
Questioned by his barrister Ken Hind, the defendant said Mr Aldren had been racially abusive to him, threatened to stab him, challenged him to fight and said he would bomb the shop and wanted to burn it down.
Mr Hind asked: “Did you at any time respond to it?” Mr Akhtar, who said the abuse did not bother him as he had been in the job long enough, said: “I was trying to calm him down.”
The defendant told the hearing Mr Aldren went towards him in an aggressive manner with a clenched fist and put his hand in his pocket.
He continued: “In that pocket there could be anything and I thought he was taking something out of his pocket.
“I thought he was going to pull something out and go for me. Just to keep him away, I gave him a jab.”