A Whitby skipper accused of sinking a boat in the harbour has spoken of his collapse with tears of relief after the case was dropped.
A not guilty verdict has been recorded on Trevor Cross, 49, of Mulgrave Place, Whitby, after the prosecution offered no evidence.
Mr Cross, known as Gordon, has spoken to the Whitby Gazette about his ordeal. He said: “It’s a weight lifted off my chest. The night I got the phone call from my barrister telling me the case had been dropped, I just broke down in tears. I was in a pub, went outside and collapsed.” He added: “I maintained my innocence all along – I’m so relieved.”
He originally appeared at York Crown Court on December 29 where he denied damaging the fishing boat, Stoney Broke, which belonged to Whitby skipper Barry Rogers.
The Crown Prosecution Service had originally claimed that Mr Cross had tampered with the boat’s rigging to submerge the vessel at Dock End, causing it to sink, after leaving a pub on July 4, 2016.
His defence team claimed the boat may have sunk due to a rising tide.
Mr Cross was on unconditional bail pending a trial, which was due to start on August 7, but has now been found not guilty of the offence.
The court heard in late December how the incident had caused “immense” ramifications within Whitby’s close community of skippers.
The judge has now entered a not guilty verdict into the record.
This acts as if Mr Cross had been found not guilty by a jury and means the case cannot be reopened.
Mr Cross extended his thanks to the many people who have stuck with him throughout the ordeal including his family and friends, skippers from the harbour community and Whitby Charter Skippers Association.
He said that he now just wishes to move on with his life.