Monday 23 September 2019

Soap actor ‘growled like a mad dog before attacking man after beer garden row’

Mark Jordon, who plays Daz Spencer in Emmerdale, denies affray, unlawful wounding and assault.

Emmerdale actor Mark Jordon outside Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court (Peter Byrne/PA)
Emmerdale actor Mark Jordon outside Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court (Peter Byrne/PA)

By Eleanor Barlow, PA

Emmerdale actor Mark Jordon screamed “I’ll f****** kill you” and growled “like a mad dog” before attacking a pensioner, a court has heard.

Jordon, 54, who plays Daz Spencer in the Yorkshire-based soap, allegedly bit 68-year-old Andrew Potts and pushed his partner Rosalind O’Neill after a row broke out in a beer garden in Oldham.

Giving evidence at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court, Mr Potts, 68, wiped away tears as he described the “frightening” alleged assault.

Jordon’s co-stars Chris Chittell, who plays Eric Pollard, Nick Miles, who is Jimmy King in the soap, and Sammy Winward, who played Katie Sugden, sat in the front row of the public gallery for the hearing.

Andrew Potts outside Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court (Peter Byrne/PA)

The court heard the row broke out outside the Farrars Arms on July 1 last year when Mrs O’Neill made the comment “I hope they are using protection” about Jordon’s daughter, who had been “straddling” a boy in the beer garden.

The jury was told Mrs O’Neill apologised when Jordon confronted her, but Mr Potts said: “I wouldn’t let my daughter act like that in front of me.”

Mr Potts said Jordon was dragged back from him as he screamed: “I’ll f****** kill you, you old bastard.”

He told the court he threw a couple of punches at Jordon and the actor’s nose started to bleed, although he said he did not strike him to the nose and believed he had taken cocaine.

Mr Potts said he believed the former Heartbeat actor had “got a line of coke” in the pub toilets and told police officers who later arrested the actor that he may have taken drugs.

He said: “I said test him for coke, he’s off his head. They said to me ‘we can’t test him for coke because he wasn’t driving’.”

Keith Harrison, defending, suggested Mr Potts had called Jordon’s daughter a “slag”.

Mr Potts said: “No, 100%, not at all.”

He also denied saying he had filmed the girl and would post it on YouTube, but told the court he might have said “f*** off, you think you’re clever because you’re on TV” to Jordon’s girlfriend Laura Norton, 36, who plays Kerry Wyatt in Emmerdale.

Mark Jordon and his partner Laura Norton arrive at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court (Peter Byrne/PA)

Asked if he had called Jordon a “dickhead”, Mr Potts laughed and said: “He was acting like one.”

Mr Potts said they left the pub and had walked down the road when a taxi pulled up in front of them and Jordon got out and pushed Mrs O’Neill to the floor.

He said: “He then came towards me and he was still screaming and shouting and his face was… it was just horrendous, he was growling like a mad dog.”

Mr Potts said Jordon bit his thumb and the palm of his hand, spitting out a chunk of skin, and the pair of them fell to the ground, where Jordon bit his eyebrow.

He denied a suggestion from Mr Harrison that he had pushed Mrs O’Neill out of the way before jumping on Jordon’s back and putting his fingers and thumb inside his mouth to grab his cheek.

Judge Mark Savill warned Mr Potts not to discuss his evidence with any other witnesses over the lunchtime adjournment. However, when court resumed in the afternoon, the jury was told he had phoned Mrs O’Neill.

Mr Harrison said a witness support officer overheard her on the phone saying: “I know it’s him… oh that’s not in my statement.”

Mr Potts said he had told her he had “cocked up” his evidence when he said he arrived at the pub on foot, because CCTV showed him arriving in a taxi.

He told the court he had received £400 for two stories which appeared in The Sun newspaper but he denied he had been “boasting” he might make £20,000 out of the case.

Jordon, of Tamewater Court, Dobcross, Oldham, denies affray, unlawfully wounding Mr Potts and the assault by beating of Mrs O’Neill.

The case was adjourned until Wednesday.

PA Media

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