Olympic diver Blake Aldridge cleared of common assault

Olympic diver Blake Aldridge was today cleared of attacking a supermarket security guard and said he hoped it would help him cast off his image as the bad boy of British diving.

Smartly-dressed in a grey suit, Aldridge spent just nine minutes in the dock at Bromley Magistrates Court before the common assault charge against him was dismissed though lack of evidence.



Aldridge, 28, who came eighth in the 10m synchronised dive at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with the then 14-year-old Tom Daley, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address in Bromley, south London.



But after the hearing he said: "I feel no different now to when I was charged - as far I was concerned I was innocent the whole time. It has ruined my reputation and credibility. Hopefully now I can do something positive and go on with my career."



Aldridge had denied attacking a security guard at Tesco in Croydon Road, Beckenham, south-east London, in February.



He perhaps became best known after making a mobile phone call to his mother mid-way through the Olympic final and then blaming Daley's nerves for the pair's placing. A year later Daley went on to become a world champion.



Outside the court Aldridge, who hopes to compete at the London 2012 Olympics, said: "It has had a massive knock-on effect. I used to work for a company going in to schools nationwide encouraging kids in to sport, but once this this got out in the press two schools dropped me because it was like I was not appropriate.



"I feel that for the whole time this has been going on I have been treated like I was guilty but hopefully now I can go back in to schools and try to inspire the children."



Aldridge is suffering from a small tear to his left triceps which forced him to pull out of the 10m dive at the European Championships in Budapest, Hungary.



He is not going to this year's Commonwealth Games, but of London 2012 he said: "I want to take part in it and hopefully I will qualify. I just want to concentrate on getting fit."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project