A student has been cleared of helping to mug Premiership footballer Dwight Yorke of his diamond-encrusted watch in a Mayfair nightclub.
The case against Abbas Rizvi was dropped after it was learnt the player had permanently moved to Australia.
The 25-year-old had been accused of teaming up with a celebrity minder to pull of the so-called "restroom robbery" in the toilets of the posh night-spot.
His alleged partner-incrime, Godfrey "Jack the Lad" Kessie, also 25, admitted the robbery and was jailed for three-and-a-half years at London's Southwark Crown Court earlier this year.
Rizvi, of Merlin Close, Edgware, north London denied the charge and stood trial.
But after vehemently insisting he was an innocent, the jury failed to reach a verdict and he was warned he faced a re-trial.
But prosecutor Navaz Daruwalla told the court yesterday it had been decided to drop the matter.
"The Crown has taken the view it is not going to offer evidence.
"The victim has now gone to live in Australia."
He had joined Sydney football team and had "no intention of coming back".
Judge Christopher Hardy said in the circumstances Rizvi, who was not in court, would be formally found not guilty.
During the earlier hearing Yorke, then a Birmingham City striker, who has a young son with glamour model Jordan, told how he had "feared for my life" when Kessie approached him and pretended he was armed.
"I found it quite scary so I gave him my watch," he said.
But when the "laughing" robber made a run for it, the 33-year-old player threw caution to the wind and chased him out of the Funky Buddah Nightclub.
Rizvi, who had been with the robber, also fled.
An impromptu posse of bouncers, cab-drivers and photographers staking out the premises joined in the chase.
Within minutes the footballer's superior fitness saw him corner Kessie in a Tube station.
During the furious struggle that followed, London Underground contractors repeatedly pulled the player away thinking he was the aggressor.
But they soon realised their mistake and the "powerfully built" minder - who headed Lifeline Security which boasted a number of high-profile clients - was searched.
The £36,000 Franck Muller Conquistador King timepiece was quickly found and handed back to a "distraught" Yorke.