Tears filled the courtroom as two Scarborough rugby players were cleared of biting off a chunk of a reveller’s ear.
The families of 28-year-olds Jaxon Tite and Paul White wept while the defendants trembled in the dock after the not guilty verdict was read out.
However a third defendant, Robert Murphy, could still face prison after admitting playing a role in the bloody fracas in which victim James Blenkinsopp lost part of his lobe.
It took three-and-a-half hours of deliberation for the Bradford Crown Court jury to deliver the unanimous verdict for both Tite and White, who have both played for Scarborough Rugby Club.
The five-day trial heard all three defendants had been out on a boozy club night out last October when a brawl broke out among two parties.
The hearing, which had been moved from York Crown Court, heard Mr Blenkinsopp claim that Jaxon Tite had started a fight with his friend, Matthew Holloway.
He claimed Tite had punched him repeatedly and bitten a part of his ear off during the incident.
It was also claimed that Murphy and White had taken part in the fight.
In his testimony, Mr Blenkinsopp recalled the incident which happened near to the Courtyard bar.
“I felt several blows to my face and body was then rugby tackled to the ground - my legs were taken from under me and I hit the ground on my back,” he told the court.
“I then felt kicks and punches landing on my head, chin, ribs, legs and back.
“I imagine there to have been more than one person as it felt like there were several blows at once.”
Mr Blenkinsopp then went on to describe how he felt a male on top of him and before feeling a crunching sound in his left ear - which was a part of his ear being bitten off.
“At first I heard the sound more than I felt the pain. Then I felt extreme pain in my left ear and I felt a hot liquid running down the side of my face.”
Despite his wounds requiring medical procedures to correct, nobody has been convicted for his injuries with Murphy admitting a charge of unlawful wounding. He will be sentenced on October 29.