A 20-year-old man on trial for violent disorder at the Horse and Groom pub in Wibsey has been cleared on the direction of the judge.

Christopher Allsopp, of Barden Avenue, Buttershaw, Bradford, walked free from the dock at Bradford Crown Court yesterday after he was acquitted part-way through the trial.

Judge Robert Bartfield directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict, saying Mr Allsopp acted in defence of his mother and grandmother who were under attack when fighting broke out in the pub after midnight on May 25 last year.

“There could not be any other possible verdict in this case,” Judge Bartfield said.

Still on trial are Stephen O’Connor, 44, of Beacon Place, Buttershaw, and Sophia Blackburn, 24, of Torre Road, Horton Bank Top, Bradford. Both deny violent disorder. Blackburn also pleads not guilty to causing Stacey Wilkinson grievous bodily harm with intent by biting off part of her ear.

Jason Johnson, 24, of Torre Road, pleaded guilty to violent disorder part-way through the first day of the trial.

Blackburn, the mother of a young son, told the jury she had downed up to six pints of lager that night but was not drunk.

She said she was dancing in the pub when the music suddenly stopped. She was confronted by Miss Wilkinson who punched her in the face.

Blackburn said she panicked and grabbed Miss Wilkinson. The women went to the floor fighting and she bit Miss Wilkinson’s ear because she had hold of her hair and she could not move.

“I panicked. I thought it was either me or her,” Blackburn said from the witness box.

She denied deliberately ripping off Miss Wilkinson’s ear with her teeth to disfigure her and said she did not know how the piece of ear came to be found near the exit door at the pub.

O’Connor said he made a drunken mistake when he believed Mr Allsopp’s mother, Sharon Allsopp, had attacked his girlfriend, Miss Wilkinson.

He said he grabbed a woman he believed was on top of Miss Wilkinson, seizing hold of her face and hair to pull her off.

O’Connor said he was kicked and punched on the ground and was treated in hospital for head injuries. He was concussed and dizzy from the beating.

The trial continues.