Actor John McEnery cleared of scaring barmaid
A Bafta-nominated Shakespearean actor has been cleared of brandishing a fake firearm to frighten a barmaid.
John McEnery admitted having a water pistol but told police he never intended to frighten Melissa Green.
Armed police arrested Mr McEnery after he pulled out the imitation gun at the Leading Light pub in Faversham on 8 August 2017.
Mr McEnery, 75, had denied the charges of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
The actor, from Sheerness, told the court he had been "thoughtless and stupid" to produce the gun in the pub,
He said he did not mean to scare the barmaid, and only produced the imitation gun from his pocket when looking for a pen to write down her phone number.
After the verdict, Mr McEnery said: "I can't believe it's over but it is now and I can't wait to tell my friends and nearest and dearest.
"I feel an enormous sense of relief."
Mr McEnery and co-defendant Steven Majewski, 42, of Canal Road, Strood, were also cleared of a similar joint charge relating to an incident at the BinElla wine and Champagne bar in Standard Quay, Faversham, between 1 July and 8 August 2017.
The actor said he was a recovering alcoholic who had relapsed in August 2017 and had not worked for the past five years.
At the time of his arrest he was living on a converted trawler with Mr Majewski and another man who used the water pistol to shoot flying insects.
Mr Majewski had denied the account of events and Mr McEnery said he could not remember the incident well.
His lawyer Pippa Woodrow said the fake gun had not been pointed at anyone and it was just "two old fools having a laugh".