Manchester

Man cleared of attack on Big Fat Gypsy Weddings star

Minshull Street Crown Court
Image caption Mr Joyce was found not guilty at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester

A man has been cleared of assaulting a former bare-knuckle boxer who appeared in Channel 4 television show, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings.

Johnny Joyce was accused of a savage attack that left his cousin, Paddy Doherty, 51, with a fractured jaw.

He told Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court he had acted in self-defence because he feared he had been set up to be attacked himself.

Mr Joyce, 20, said "justice had been served" after the hearing on Monday.

He had pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

During the trial the court heard that the row stemmed from a dispute at a funeral between members of the Doherty and Joyce families, who are from the travelling community.

It erupted at the caravan park in Salford where Mr Doherty lived after the pair spent an evening out drinking in August 2010.

'No retaliation'

In court, one witness - Salford security firm boss Paul Massey - described Mr Doherty as the "toughest guy I have ever met".

Mr Doherty told the court his hard-man image on the Channel 4 documentary was a front for the TV cameras.

Outside court, Mr Joyce said: "I'm glad to be free. Justice has been served.

"All I did was defend myself and I'm proud of that."

Mr Joyce's father, John, 50, said: "We deal with things amongst ourselves, we shake hands and we forget about it.

"What happens now is that we'll keep our end of the bargain, we won't retaliate. If anything happens, it's from that side."

Mr Joyce said the Channel 4 documentary series, in which Mr Doherty appeared, featured members of the community who were "doing it for the cameras".

"He [Paddy Doherty] lives in a fantasy world and everybody was laughing at him on the telly, saying, 'Who's he?'," he added.

"That's the way he was seen in the community. He was always trying to give a manly image, that's the truth. But he's a clown.

"He's like the guy who tried to sell the Eiffel Tower. He dreams and fantasises."

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