Irish chef Conrad Gallagher has been found not guilty of stealing three works of abstract art.
Gallagher, 32, broke down in tears as the jury of six men and six women returned unanimous not guilty verdicts on the sixth day of his trial in Dublin.
Afterwards, Gallagher said he wanted time alone to decide his future. Asked if he had any plans to return as a restaurateur he said: "I don't have any money left."
Gallagher's lawyer, Karl Haughton told reporters: "Mr Gallagher has maintained his innocence from the moment these charges were levelled against him."
The jury took just under two hours yesterday to find Gallagher innocent of stealing three paintings from the Peacock Alley restaurant at the Fitzwilliam hotel, Dubline, in December 2000.
He was accused of fraudulently passing the paintings to a dealer for £9,000. He was also charged with obtaining money by false pretenses by claiming the three paintings were his property to sell.