by Keith Hunt
A man has been cleared of serious assault charges after witnesses failed to appear for his trial.
Tommy Cooper, of Reed Court, Ingress Park, Greenhithe, had denied inflicting grievous bodily harm on Darren Pierce and assaulting Lee Smith, causing actual bodily harm.
Mr Cooper, 23, was arrested after an incident involving an alleged hammer and knife attack at a house in Wiltshire Close, Stone, around midnight on September 18 last year.
Mr Pierce and his girlfriend Elaine Cauldrey were staying with relatives Mr Smith and Carlana Berry and her children aged seven and five at the house.
Mr Cooper, wearing a hooded dressing gown and shorts, and others arrived and a fight broke out.
Mr Smith suffered slash marks to his back, stomach and neck. Mr Pierce had multiple bruising to his head, abdomen and chest.
Mr Cooper was due to stand trial at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday but Jonathan Ingram, prosecuting, told Judge Michael Carroll: "It is clear witnesses are not going to attend and I am instructed to offer no evidence."
He added it was an unusual case because those in the house did not do what would have been expected and call the police.
The judge entered not guilty verdicts and Mr Cooper, who had been on bail, was released.