The former chairman of Cleveland Police, Dave McLuckie, said he was "delighted" to be found not guilty of intimidating a witness.
He said: "I'm absolutely delighted that the jury came to the decision that they did and I would like to thank them all for that.
"This has been a particularly horrendous year for me and my family. I'm glad its over, on this occasion, and what I'll do now is go back home, have a night out with my family and have a good Christmas."
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The win rekindle's the Black Cats' survival hopes and pile the pressure on United manager Louis van Gaal.
Eddie Hall, 41, had been working as a chef in Ho Chi Minh City for over a year but was reported missing in January.
Feeling cold with wintry showers. Overnight frosts. Warnings of snow and ice issued