08:37 25 August 2009
Former Emmerdale actor Lewis Linford has been cleared of sexually assaulting a woman outside a nightclub.
The ex-soap star was accused of groping a model, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in a queue for a cash machine in Hull in December 2007.
It took just seven minutes for the jury of seven men and five women to make their decision and clear the actor of the charges.
Linford, who played Emmerdale gamekeeper Lee Naylor, said after the trail: "It's been testing. It's not only me but my family. That upsets me more.
"The impact it has had on my family over the last 20 months has been devastating."
His lawyer, Nick Freeman, added: "The complainant is able to luxuriate behind a veil of anonymity whereas Lewis has been exposed to the spotlight of the media glare.
"In my view the law should be changed so that people such as Lewis who are charged with these sorts of allegations should be afforded some sort of protection such as the accuser's until such a time as they are convicted."
Freeman went on to say that the actor may now complain to police, accusing the woman of assault, perjury and perverting justice.
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