Wigton footballer Daniel Martos cleared of match assault
An amateur footballer who broke an opponent's jaw during a Cumbria County Cup match, has been cleared of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
A Carlisle Crown Court jury accepted Daniel Martos, 23, from Wigton, had acted in self-defence when he struck Christopher Broome last November.
Mr Martos, a full-back for Wigton Stocksman, clashed with Mr Broome, of Carlisle Portland after a 50-50 tackle.
Mr Martos said he believed Mr Broome was about to headbut him.
Mr Broome needed two operations to fit a metal plate in his jaw to repair the damage.
Mr Martos, of Highmoor Park, Wigton, was charged after he punched Mr Broome in the 85th minute of the cup match on 21 November last year.
He told the court: "Broomy threw his head towards me to headbut me.
"I moved my head backwards to dodge it and threw a punch with my left hand.
"It was just in self-defence. It was all happening in an instant. I didn't have time to think. It just happened."
Mr Broome claimed that after tackling Mr Martos he accidentally knocked into him again after getting to his feet.
Match referee Graham Turner told the jury he sent Mr Martos off after he heard a commotion behind him and turned in time to see Mr Martos's fist land on Mr Broome's cheek.
The jury took just 46 minutes to reach a unanimous verdict of not guilty.