A FATHER accused of disposing of a bloody mattress on which his daughter fatally stabbed her boyfriend has been found not guilty of perverting the court of justice.

Edward Adamson, 74, from Hove, was acquitted by a jury yesterday following a five-day trial at Hove Crown Court.

Mr Adamson stood trial some 19 years after his daughter Julia Adamson killed Robert Kavanagh at her flat in Hove on June 24, 1999.

She was convicted of manslaughter by diminished responsibility in 2000.

After fleeing to Portugal fearing he would not get a fair trial, Mr Adamson returned to the UK to defend his innocence last year.

Speaking to The Argus after the hearing he said he was delighted with the verdict, but the years the charge had been hanging over his head had ruined his health and family life.

It meant he missed his wife’s funeral.

He said: “I think the jury came to the right decision, because I was not guilty of what I was charged with.

“It has ruined my health really, and I feel things [with my family] would have been different if I had been in Hove.

“But if I had been here I would have possibly been convicted because I did not know evidence that I know now.”

The prosecution accused Mr Adamson of taking the bloody mattress to Hove tip knowing he was disposing of incriminating evidence.

They also claimed he had initially lied about attending Julia’s flat in an interview with police and had decided to hide in Portugal.

But the defence said Mr Adamson had accepted his daughter’s explanation that the mattress had been vomited on by Mr Kavanagh and that he had no idea her boyfriend had been killed on it.

His defence barrister Pierce Power said Mr Adamson did not change his story about visiting the flat and key interview notes from the original police notebooks had not been found.

After deliberating for six hours and 12 minutes, the jury of six men and six women acquitted Mr Adamson of the charge.

He added: “I blame the police officers and the CPS solicitor running the case.

“We had to take action to protect ourselves [fleeing to Portugal] and I’ve come back and we have sorted the matter out after nearly 18 years of us investigating.”

The Argus can now also report the defence barrister, Mr Power, failed in his bid to have the jury discharged after claiming a news report of the trial had been prejudicial to his client’s case.

He said references to how Mr Kavanagh’s body had been cut up and discarded in countryside, near Bexhill, and only found when a dog chewed a hand meant Mr Adamson could not have a fair trial, as it could influence the jury.

But Judge Jeremy Gold defended The Argus’s report and dismissed the attempt to collapse the trial.

He said: “There were no reporting restrictions preventing the publication of those details, and in the circumstances it can be said The Argus has done absolutely nothing wrong by reporting factual background.”