A MAN has been cleared of causing the death of a Rud-heath father after a dramatic 13-day trial.
John Gareth Stubbs, of Royle Street, Northwich, was found not guilty of causing the death by dangerous driving of 39-year-old David Parsonage by a jury at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old had been cleared of murder and the lesser charge of manslaughter the day before.
Mr Stubbs had denied charges of murder and death by dangerous driving following the death of Mr Parsonage when his Ford Orion crashed into a tree on the A556 after coming into contact with Stubbs' Ford Transit van last year.
After almost 13 hours of deliberation the jury delivered their third not guilty verdict of the trail before His Honourable Justice Nigel Davis on Wednesday.
Mr Stubbs exhaled 'yes' as he heard the verdict, and sank his head into his hands.
Judge Davis said to the jury: 'Thank you very much for the hard work and patience you have shown. You have listened carefully and the length of time you have taken shows your consideration.'
Defending, Paul Reid QC asked for his client to be released and Judge Davis agreed.
During the two-week trial, the prosecution claimed Mr Stubbs used his van 'as a weapon' to ram Mr Parsonage off the A556, and he was 'intent on causing serious harm' to the father-of-one.
Members of the Parsonage family gave evidence claiming that the two men were locked in a 'feud'. They accused Mr Stubbs of issuing threats of violence to their family and friends.
Mr Stubbs claimed from the outset that in actual fact he was the 'victim', and that Parsonage, who approached him at Gadbrook Road in Rud-heath shortly before the fatal crash, was the aggressor.
The court was shown video footage recorded on a camera by a resident living nearby which showed Mr Parsonage going over to Mr Stubbs' van and punching him, throwing a metal wheel brace in Mr Stubbs' direction and then driving at his van, narrowly missing Mr Stubbs.
Both men skipped a red traffic light, they went over the Morrisons roundabout to the Penny's Lane slip road to turn left to Lach Dennis.
Mr Stubbs claimed Mr Parsonage was stopping him from turning, so he overtook the Ford Orion and threw a can of Tango at the rear window which then smashed.
Mr Stubbs carried along the A556 and claimed Mr Parsonage then drove into his van at an angle. He claimed Mr Parsonage was a 'madman', ramming his Transit van.
Crash experts said there was evidence of both vehicles colliding then Mr Parsonage lost control - but could not say who collided with whom. Mr Parson-age's Orion collided with a tree near the Lostock picnic area. He died at the scene from head injuries.
The jury heard the incident arose over a dispute over a bike Mr Parsonage bought from Mr Stubbs for his son, but which was subsequently stolen.
FOLLOWING the verdict on Wednesday, David Parsonage's family paid tribute to the 38-year-old.
The statement said: 'David was a very loving father to his son Ben who he will now never see grow up. We miss David terribly, it is the simple things in our lives such as birthdays, Christmas and David just being there for us which we will no longer have.
'David's death has left a great void of emptiness in our lives and the lives of his brothers and sisters which can never be filled.
'We have tried to maintain our dignity throughout the investigation and court case even though it has been a hard time for us as a family.'