Leeds Majestyk fire: Stuart Jefferson cleared of arson
A man has been cleared by a jury of starting a blaze that badly damaged a disused Leeds nightclub.
Stuart Jefferson, 32, was accused of setting a fire at the former Majestyk nightclub in City Square on the night of 30 September.
He admitted being inside the building on the night of the fire but denied two counts of arson.
The jury at Leeds Crown Court heard Mr Jefferson had two previous convictions for arson.
During the three-day trial, the court heard that staff and guests at the Quebec Hotel next door to the venue had to be evacuated during the fire.
Evidence collected after the blaze showed a naked flame had been deliberately placed against the seats.
Dozens of firefighters tackled the blaze at the Grade-II listed building, the home of the Majestic cinema in the 1920s.
Its roof partially collapsed but the "iconic" building was saved by firefighters.
The Majestyk closed its doors in 2006 and plans to revive the building have included creating a cinema, restaurants and a gym.