Eight men have been cleared of murdering three friends who were mowed down by a car during last summer's Birmingham riots.
The Crown had alleged that Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir were protecting local businesses when they were murdered in the modern-day equivalent of a "chariot charge" involving three cars in Winson Green.
But Ryan Goodwin, Shaun Flynn, Juan Ruiz-Gaviria, Joshua Donald, Everton Graham, Adam King, Ian Beckford and Aaron Parkins were cleared of three counts of murder each by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court.
The jury retired on Wednesday and had been deliberating for just over four hours.
After the verdicts, trial judge Mr Justice Flaux appealed for calm on the streets of Birmingham and urged the community to respect the jury's findings.
The judge said: "On any view this has been a terrible case - a tragic and pointless loss of three young lives.
"However, by their verdicts the jury have decided that this was not a deliberate killing, that there was no plan to kill these three young men.
"The jury have decided that this was a terrible accident."
The judge, who said the deaths occurred at a time of unprecedented civil disorder, added: "It is important that however strong feelings are within the community in Winson Green and adjacent areas, that calm is maintained and that these verdicts are respected.
"Any other action would not be honouring those who died. In fact quite the reverse. What happened on the streets of Birmingham and other cities last August should never be repeated."
The prosecution had alleged that all eight defendants were party to a plan to drive a vehicle at a crowd of people in Dudley Road, Winson Green, in the early hours of August 10.
It was alleged that a Ford Fiesta and an Audi car were used to lure pedestrians into the road, where they were hit by a Mazda.
But the defendants denied the existence of any plan to harm pedestrians and the driver of the Mazda, 30-year-old Ian Beckford, denied deliberately driving into the victims.
Beckford, of Holly Bush Grove, Quinton, told the trial he was good friends with siblings Mr Musavir, 31, and Mr Ali, 30, and had not intended to knock down, kill or seriously harm any member of the crowd.
Hours after the deaths, 21-year-old Haroon Jahan's father Tariq made an emotional appeal to groups of youths gathered outside his home in Winson Green.
His call for calm was credited with helping to bring an end to the riots and he later received an award for his compassion and dignity in the aftermath of his son's death.
Goodwin, 21, Flynn, 26, Ruiz-Gaviria, 31, Donald, 27, Graham, 30, King, 24, Beckford, 30, and Parkins, aged 18, hugged and shook hands with each other in the dock as the verdicts were returned.
A woman in the public gallery shouted "that's justice" and "thank you jury" as the foreman sat down following the verdicts, while Tariq Jahan remained impassive with his arms folded.
Mr Justice Flaux also directly addressed the victims' relatives, including Mr Jahan, in the aftermath of the verdicts.
The judge told them: "I know this has been really terrible for you, don't think I don't know that.
"I know Mr Jahan has done wonderful things for the city in ensuring we didn't have a complete conflagration last August.
"Can I please ask you to remain calm and so far as it humanly possible to put everything that happened last August behind you and look to the future.
"Throughout the trial you have all behaved in a most dignified way and I am very grateful for that."
After the defendants were told they were free to leave the dock, the judge also thanked the nine women and three men of the jury, who were excused from further jury service for 15 years.
Graphic CCTV footage of the Winson Green deaths formed the centrepiece of the prosecution.
Although the jury was instructed that the footage could not in itself be regarded as proof of murder, the Crown claimed it showed an orchestrated three-car "chariot charge" planned in the minutes leading up to the fatal impact.
The prosecution said the jury could infer that an Audi was used to draw pedestrians into the roadway, while a Ford Fiesta performed the same function, as well as shielding the Mazda which struck the three victims after swerving towards them.
Other circumstantial evidence, including mobile phone records, CCTV of vehicle movements in nearby streets, the destruction of a mobile phone, and a hand signal made from one of the cars, was cited as supporting evidence for the prosecution case.
But the defendants described the claims of a murderous plan being hatched in a three-minute "window" prior to the deaths as implausible speculation which had put innocent men in the dock.
The three men driving the cars - Ian Beckford, Adam King and Joshua Donald - and their passengers variously described the prosecution's claim as "ridiculous" and "utter rubbish".
It was also argued by the defence that the three cars were under attack from a crowd, some masked and armed with sticks, bricks and, in one case, a sword.
Kitchen fitter Everton Graham, who was a front-seat passenger in the Mazda, used his time in the witness box to dismiss the Crown's claim that the three vehicles carried out a plan after coming together in a nearby side street.
Graham, a father of one, told prosecutor Timothy Spencer QC: "I don't know these people.
"I have never met them in my life - you have put us all in jail and charged us with murder."
Defence lawyer Paul Lewis QC, who represented the defendant who was behind the wheel of the Mazda, took the unusual step of making an opening speech to the jury at the start of his client's case.
Mr Lewis urged jurors to set aside their emotions and to try the case with "objective and unbiased consideration".
The barrister submitted that the collision happened when the three cars involved were "under serious attack" from groups of men throwing bricks and missiles from both sides of the road.
The QC told jurors: "It occurred as the three unfortunate victims themselves stepped further into the road to attack the cars.
"It was a tragedy but it was an accident nonetheless."