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Actor Colin Vidler cleared of attempting to murder cousin in axe attack in Sheerness

A movie actor who plays tough guy roles has been cleared of trying to kill a cousin who was “savagely” attacked during a night out.

Colin Vidler was alleged to have left the victim badly injured and covered in blood after repeatedly striking him with a hatchet on Sheerness seafront.

He was also accused of assaulting Ben Vidler earlier in the evening while they were drinking at the Playa pub in Minster.

Colin Vidler
Colin Vidler

But a jury yesterday acquitted him of attempted murder, an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily with intent and assault causing actual bodily harm.

He was cleared of having an offensive weapon by direction of the judge.

The 46-year-old former professional boxer, who was known as The Hammer, showed no emotion has he was discharged from the dock.

Ben Vidler, 41, claimed it was his cousin who attacked him with the axe.

But Colin Vidler, said he found his cousin badly injured on the ground as he walked home late at night to The Invicta Guest House he owns in Marine Parade, Sheerness.

Colin Vidler in the ring
Colin Vidler in the ring

Mr Vidler, known as Burt, clashed with his cousin outside The Playa pub. He said they had a fight and he headbutted Ben Vidler twice.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the landlord of The Napier Hotel in Alma Road later reported to police that there was a “bloodied and severely injured man” outside his pub.

Ben Vidler was taken to a London hospital to be treated for “horrendous injuries” to his head, face, shoulders, arms and back.

He said in evidence he felt like he had been “struck by lightning”.

Colin Vidler, whose roles include the war film Ten, told jurors after there was trouble at The Playa he apologised to staff.

Colin Vidler in a scene from the film Ten
Colin Vidler in a scene from the film Ten

“I hadn’t been there for a year,” he said. “It was the first time back and there was a punch-up.

“As I was walking home I found Ben on the sea wall at Barton’s Point. It was dark. He was laying face down. He wasn’t moving.

“When I got closer I realised it was him. I started bringing him round. It wasn’t until he got up and I saw the mark on his back and blood on him.

“I thought he got run over. He had no shirt on. He started getting up on all fours. I got my arms around him.

"I found Ben on the sea wall at Barton’s Point. It was dark. He was laying face down. He wasn’t moving" - Colin Vidler

“He started shouting: ‘Don’t stab me no more, don’t hurt me.’ I said: ‘What are you on about Ben? It’s me.’ Then he said it again. I said: ‘It’s me, Burt.’”

Asked if he did stab him, Vidler replied: “No, not at all.”

The actor, who has also worked as a doorman, said he decided to get his cousin back to the guest house where he had a room.

“It was obvious he was hurt but I didn’t know how bad. I thought: Just take him home and see what needs to be done.”

He did not call the police, he said, because his cousin was on a suspended sentence and he did not want to get him into trouble.

“I just thought: Get him home, clean him up and happy days,” he continued. “It turned out he was hurt more than I thought he was. I saw a lot of blood on his face.

“I took him along the sea wall. We fell over at one point.”

Mr Vidler said he sat his cousin down outside the guest house and went to clean himself up.

VIDEO: Colin Vidler cleared

“I said: ‘Sit there, don’t go nowhere. I’ll get some towels to clean you up.’ When I came back he had gone.”

Mr Vidler said he looked for his cousin but could not find him. His wife came out and asked what was going on.

He denied threatening to kill Ben Vidler or attacking him.

Prosecutor Ian Hope said Ben Vidler “genuinely and honestly” believed his attacker was the actor.

“Yeah, he does,” he said. “I think he must, as a result, believe I did it.”

Mr Hope suggested he was a gentleman and a fighter. Mr Vidler replied: “I am a gentleman, sir.”

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