Breaking news: A football coach was dramatically cleared of the murder of his friend Matthew Demko this afternoon.

To cries of "it’s not fair" and "I can’t believe it" from the public gallery, the jury at the Old Bailey unanimously found Michael Jordan, 25, from Ashtead, not guilty of the murder of the 25-year-old ex-public schoolboy.

Mr Demko's sister Emily left the court sobbing and had to be comforted by her mother Lorraine.

Mr Jordan had been accused of killing landscape gardener Mr Demko on April 4 by repeatedly beating him over the head with a metal barbell and strangling him with a wire, after failing to repay a drugs debt of £3,600.

But Mr Jordan told the court a mystery stranger had killed Mr Demko in the garage of the Jordan family's home after he left the room to get a CD.

During the three week trial the court heard that Mr Demko, who went to Pangbourne College in Reading on a sports scholarship, had gone to Mr Jordan's house to collect cash owed to him through drug deals.

The court was told he used Mr Jordan as street dealer and he would often peddle drugs and collect money on his behalf.

The court heard Mr Jordan has no previous convictions but was cautioned twice in July 2005 for possession of cannabis.

On the day of the murder the two men arranged to meet up at Mr Jordan's family home in Links Road, Ashtead, so the money could be handed over.

CCTV cameras at a nearby railway crossing captured Mr Demko on his way to his friend's house in a distinctive bright green van, used for his job, just before 5pm.

Within half an hour Mr Jordan had made a frantic 999 call, with the help of his father, saying there had been "some dreadful accident to the unfortunate Mr Demko".

They tried to resuscitate him with the help of the emergency services operator while two ambulances and an air ambulance were called, but Mr Demko died at the scene.

The court heard Mr Jordan later told police that he was soaked in blood as "he attempted to revive his friend".

He was arrested at the scene and told police he had left Mr Demko in the garage to collect a CD from inside his house.

David Fisher, Mr Jordan’s defence barrister, earlier told the court: “The drug dealing world is one of fear and nobody was immune from the various levels of violence used.”

The jury heard how Mr Demko was receiving messages from his suppliers, including a man named Bertie and an Albanian in Fulham, demanding money for drugs, while he in turn was telling those he supplied to pay up.

Mr Fisher said there was nothing to disprove Mr Jordan’s account of events that a man or men came in and killed Mr Demko, stealing £3,600, while Mr Jordan was getting him a CD from his house.

He suggested to the court someone in the drug dealing world could have known Mr Demko visited Mr Jordan on a Friday to collect money and would most likely have a substantial amount of cash and/or drugs on him.

Mr Fisher added the unknown attacker could have parked near Ashtead station and taken the footbridge to the house and spotting his chance when Mr Jordan had gone into the house, gone into the garage and demanded money from Mr Demko.

He said it was most likely the attacker did not like to hear 'no' and “lost it” when Mr Demko did not give him the cash, beating him with a bar then strangling him before calmly walking away so as not to arouse suspicion.

A Surrey Police spokesman said: "The jury listened carefully to all the evidence and came to their conclusions which Surrey Police must respect.

"The case will be reviewed to establish if it should be re-opened."