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Jury fails to reach verdict in trial of former Watford FC player Darius Henderson
At St Albans Crown Court the jury were discharged after five and a half hours of deliberations.
The 31-year-old Nottingham Forest striker, from Markyate, will now have to wait two weeks to find out if the prosecution will seek a retrial.
During the four day hearing the court heard how on New Years Eve 2011, the footballer and his then girlfriend had gone to Darcy's restaurant in St Albans for a celebratory dinner and party.
The evening passed without incident until the early hours when a woman came up to the footballer and his girlfriend, claiming she and Mr Henderson had recently had sex.
The accusations were untrue, but it led to Mr Hendersion's girlfriend storming out of the restaurant and feelings running high.
The prosecution claimed that when 41-year-old John Bell, who was also dining in the restaurant that night, came up to Mr Henderson to try and calm the situation, the footballer punched him to the ground, breaking his cheekbone.
CCTV footage of the moment Mr Henderson threw the punch was played in court.
Mr Henderson, who denied a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm, said in the witness box he had been acting in self defence because he thought Mr Bell was about to attack him.
At the time of the incident he was playing for Millwall.
He was granted unconditional bail.