A 22-year-old Keighley man says his life has been turned upside down after he was charged with a brutal Christmas Day assault, charges that were dismissed last week.
On the afternoon of December 25, 63-year-old Sydney Bond was viciously attacked outside his home in Spring Row, Keighley, causing him to be taken to hospital with serious head injuries.
Two men – Lee Snowden, 23, of Laburnum Road in Shipley, and Ashley Whyte, of North Dean Road in Keighley – were arrested shortly after and charged with grievous bodily harm with intent.
Charges against Mr Whyte were dismissed on March 18 after prosecution solicitors claimed their evidence showed he was not at the scene. Snowdon accepted responsibility for the crime and will be sentenced next month.
Mr Whyte said being charged with the violent crime had ruined his reputation in the town.
Before being cleared, Mr Whyte spent two weeks in prison and the rest of the time on bail with a tag. He said although he had been with Snowdon when they first met Mr Bond, he left the scene before the assault happened.
He added: “They even had CCTV evidence I didn’t assault him. I had walked away.
“I just want to clear my name, I want to get my side out.
“I was walking back to a friend’s house with Lee and I’d walked away before he assaulted the guy. A few days later the police showed up to arrest me. I hadn’t realised how serious it was until I was arrested.
“My family have gone through hell and back – all because of something someone else did. They took my freedom away for all that time. I have a three-year-old son and I had to speak to him over the phone because I didn’t want him visiting me in prison.”
A statement from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “When Snowden entered a guilty plea, the CPS reviewed the case again and decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Mr Whyte.”