A painter and decorator who savagely beat a man with an iron bar after becoming convinced he was in a relationship with his ex, was today acquitted of trying to murder him.
Lewis Shaw, 28, had told a jury he had only wanted to teach Jamie Turner a lesson but not to kill him when he beat him on an estate in Faversham.
He had admitted being "violently jealous" after the break up of his relationship with teacher Charlotte Dunn and then "lost it" when he feared she was with Jamie Turner, despite there being no evidence of a relationship between the pair.
Shaw told a jury: "I feel devastated now. I would like to say sorry. I did tell him I was sorry on Facebook... I hope he is alright."
He added: "If I had wanted to kill him I would have killed him."
The jury heard his Facebook message, sent following the beating, read: "I hope it ok j just want to say I'm so sorry and I'm in a mess about it all that girl has ***** my head up for months I just saw red as she been saying for weeks she gonna **** u really sorry for what iv done [sic]."
Shaw - who had denied attempted murder - had earlier admitted two charges of affray and causing Mr Turner grievous bodily harm with intent.
He was remanded in custody until November 5 when he will be sentenced after the judge reads reports about what dangers he poses to the public.
Shaw told Maidstone Crown Court how he had been looking to buy drugs in the North Preston Estate in Faversham when he saw Ms Dunn's vehicle.
"As soon as I saw it I flew into a rage. I knew she would be with Jamie. I stopped the car in the road. I went to the boot and got a metal bar. I was going to break his legs, beat him up," he said.
He said he went to find his house because he knew that Ms Dunn was there "as she didn't know anyone else in the street."
Shaw added that he began smashing the door and then the two men grappled and alleged that Mr Turner hit him with a baseball bat. He then struck married Mr Turner with an iron bar.
Shaw explained: "He got me in a headlock and then we exchanged punches before I hit him with a punch and he was unconscious.
"It was then I saw Charlotte. She came out of the house in a short skirt and high heel boots.
"I took it out on Jamie. I was kicking and stamping. I kicked him in the ribs and kicked him in the head over five times. It was with quite a bit of force. I wanted to teach him a lesson about going with my ex."
He added: "But I didn't intend to kill him. Killing is something else."
Shaw of Essella Road, Ashford, claimed he later visited his dad and cried after being told falsely that Mr Turner had died.