A company director accused of killing a burglar who had sneaked into his business to steal a lorry has been cleared of manslaughter.
Steven Parkin was cleared of manslaughter
Steven Parkin, 46, of Derby Road, Nottingham, was alleged to have battered Mark Brealey with a pickaxe handle and slashed him with a knife as he fled the site.
Mr Brealey died six days later in hospital from massive loss of blood and a heart attack.
Judge Richard Pollard directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty after a pathologist told the court he could not rule out the possibility death was caused by an accident.
Jurors at Nottingham Crown Court were told Mr Parkin - accompanied by his 10-year-old daughter - had been standing in for a night watchman at his demolition company.
Trail of blood
He saw Mr Brealey, 31, of St Ann's, Nottingham, and an accomplice attempting to take a vehicle from the compound at Bobber's Mill.
The court was told Mr Parkin confronted the men, then as they ran off Mr Parkin beat Mr Brealey with a pickaxe handle and stabbed him in the back of the left knee.
Mr Brealey then attempted to run to a waiting van, leaving behind a trail of blood and seriously aggravating the injury.
Jurors were told that his accomplice then dumped him outside the Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham.
The court was told that Mr Parkin later dialled 999 to say he had fought off two intruders.