A DEFENDANT sobbed with relief in the dock as a jury cleared him of stalking.

Joseph Garratt, who stood trial accused of stalking an Oxford University Press co-worker, was acquitted at Oxford Crown Court today.

The 28-year-old had a tearful hug with his father in the public gallery, after being freed from the dock.

During the week-long trial, Garratt, of King Walk in Didcot, was accused of stalking a fellow OUP employee between May and October 2017.

The woman told jurors how she felt 'intimidated' and had nightmares after noticing Garratt 'staring' at her in the office and 'following her,' alleging that he also tried to follow her home.

READ AGAIN: Stalking accused was 'on the verge of a nervous breakdown'

However Garratt, whose wife also works at OUP in Jericho, explained how he was suffering from extreme stress and anxiety at the time and would often pace the office to calm down.

He denied even knowing who the woman was, and said any perception of him staring was a result of him 'zoning out' as he tried to control his emotions.

Shortly after being signed off from work for health reasons, Garratt was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

Yesterday, summing up the defence, barrister Adrian Amer said his client was treated as a 'joke' by some colleagues.

He said his behaviour seemed 'weird and bizarre' to those who did not understand his Asperger's or his mental health struggles.

READ AGAIN: Married man had 'never even heard of' alleged stalking victim

Garratt spoke eloquently and politely while providing his evidence, and explained how he had already left several jobs due to his anxiety, before joining OUP's maths department.

The jury of seven men and five women were unable to reach a unanimous verdict, but instead gained permission from Judge Maria Lamb to return a majority verdict.

This is when at least 10 members of the jury can reach an agreement.

They took six hours and seven minutes to deliberate, before delivering the verdict this afternoon.