A BUILDER accused of punching a co-worker on a building site and breaking his jaw has been cleared of any wrong-doing.

Samuel Coates-Calkin had always denied the single count of inflicting grievous bodily harm alleged to have taken place in Benson on May 22 last year.

Prosecutors at Oxford Crown Court had claimed that the 27-year-old of Ashton Road, Newbury, ‘lost his temper’ before launching the attack on his colleague at the Cala Homes building site.

Outlining the case before jurors prosecutor Alexandra Bull said Mr Coates-Calkin’s alleged victim was left with a fractured jaw from the attack.

She said the violence happened at about 11.20am when both men were working on a garage, before an argument broke out, leading to the blow.

Taking to the witness box to profess his innocence yesterday Mr Coates-Calkin said that in the run-up to the alleged violence the man he was accused of punching had acted in a 'bullying and belittling' way towards him.

He told jurors that there was 'a laddish culture' on construction sites but that his alleged victim had make inappropriate comments about his qualifications.

Prosecutors said that the aggrieved had suffered two fractures to his jaw after he was 'punched ' by Mr Coates-Calkin.

Explaining what he said happened Mr Coates-Calkin told jurors he had been kneeling down when the other man came up to him 'aggressively' after throwing his hard hat the floor.

Mr Coates-Calkin then 'jumped' to his feet to 'fend him off', he told jurors, having felt 'threatened' by the other man, and said he never punched him.

He said that later both men apologised to each other and Mr Coates-Calkin offered to leave the building site.

After one hour and 41 minutes of deliberations yesterday jurors reached a unanimous verdict of not guilty.