Emmerdale star Mark Jordon has spoken out about his “year of hell’ after being accused of assaulting a pensioner in a beer garden.
54-year-old actor, who is known for playing Daz Spencer in the Yorkshire-based soap and PC Phil Bellamy in 1960s police show Heartbeat, was recently found not guilty of affray, unlawful wounding and assault after an altercation at his local pub.
Speaking to the Sunday People, the actor revealed he spent thousands of pounds on legal fees clearing his name - money set aside to pay for his wedding to fellow actress Laura Norton
Jordon said:“I was portrayed as a violent drunk.
"I’d never been in a fight before, never been in trouble with the law, never been in a cell or a police car, apart from a 1960s one in Heartbeat.
“I’d never been to court, never had to arrange a lawyer or barrister. It’s been an education, but not one I would have chosen.
“When you are sitting in court accused of something terrible, behind glass screens, it is unnerving.”
The actor is engaged to 36-year-old Norton, who plays Kerry Wyatt on Emmerdale, said he watched his wedding fund “dwindle” as he used it on lawyers as he did not qualify for legal aid.
He said: “I was at home watching the wedding fund being spent on barristers fees. Watching it dwindle.
“But now we can start all over we’re already discussing plans.
“Now I’m finally looking forward to what’s around the corner.”
Trouble erupted last July in the Farrars Arms in Oldham as Jordon and Norton celebrated their engagement. Jordon was kept in a police cell for 15 hours after being accused of acting like “a mad dog” and biting Andrew Potts, 68, when a brawl broke out after Mr Potts and his partner Rosalind O’Neill made comments about the actor’s daughter, then 17-year-old Poppy who had been straddling a pal in the beer garden.
Speaking about the night of his engagement party, Mark said: “There were about ten of us, I’d been there a few hours and had shared three bottles of prosecco. I was happily merry.
“I didn’t notice them until his girlfriend made these comments.
“He called my daughter a ‘slag’ and Laura a ‘stupid f***ing woman’.
“It’s been reported the lad was her boyfriend, but he wasn’t. It was a friend we met there. They were there swaying, like they were doing a dance.
“If they were being salacious I would have pulled them up, but they were just in high spirits. Laura was even taking pictures of them on her phone. They were just being teenagers.”
The incident and following court case left Jordon anxious about leaving the house.
He said: “There were moments I didn’t feel brave enough to go out. We’ve had a year of hell and anxiety we didn’t deserve.”
Jordon’s character was written out of Emmerdale in January.