Olympic diver Blake Aldridge was yesterday cleared of attacking a supermarket security guard and said that he hoped the outcome would help him shed his reputation as the bad boy of British diving.
Aldridge spent just nine minutes in the dock at Bromley magistrates' court before the common assault charge against him was dismissed through 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: "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."
The diver had denied attacking a security guard at Tesco in Beckenham, south-east London, in February. Outside the court Aldridge, who hopes to compete at the London 2012 Olympics, said: "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 into schools and try to inspire the children."