A total of seven youths, all male, have been standing trial accused of killing Cramlington dad Danny Humble as he walked home from the pub with his partner.
It is claimed he was kicked, stamped on and punched after what started out as a light-hearted exchange with the group about him looking like Ant McPartlin.
Two of the teenagers, Izaak Little, 18, of Blackthorn Drive in Blyth and a 17-year-old, who cannot be named, have now been found not guilty at the direction of the judge trying the case at Newcastle Crown Court.Mr Justice Bennathan told jurors: "The trial judge has a duty to review matters and decide if the cases of any defendants on any charge should go any further, or if the case should be brought to an end."In this case, I've carried out that review and I've applied legal tests relevant to my responsibility but not to yours, and I've decided the charge of murder faced by Izaak Little and (a youth) cannot carry on any further.
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"This is my decision and my responsibility, not yours."
After asking the jury to confirm not guilty verdicts, the pair were discharged.
Kyros Robinson, 18, of Woodside Avenue, Seaton Delaval, Ethan Scott, 18, of Chester Grove, Blyth, Alistair Dickson, 18, of Hawkins Way, Blyth, Bailey Wilson, 18, of Mitford Avenue, Blyth and a 17-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, remain on trial and deny murdering Mr Humble in May last year.The trial will continue next week.