The jury took five days to reject the prosecution case that Spencer was ready to sell undercover officers a consignment of drugs, with Mr Brandish
acting as his agent.
Mr Colman Treacy QC, prosecuting, told Birmingham Crown Court: "In the autumn of 1997 police in the Nuneaton area set up an undercover operation, the purpose of which was to monitor the activities of Spencer and Brandish
and secondly, later on, an operation to infiltrate, get inside, the drugs organisation.
, 62, said: "All I could think was death.
The pair were then locked in a bedroom but Mr Brandish
escaped through the window to raise the alarm at a newspaper shop.
said he was able to cope because he spent 20 years with the former Coventry ambulance service.
, 61, who runs the business with his wife, Maureen, was due to speak to detectives today about the arson attack.
Of her three decades at Brandish
, Sheila said: "I like my job and it's surprising how quickly it's passed.
16 levy, they found it was simply a meter reading error rather than money down the drain at their bungalow in Brandish
Court, Croft Road, Nuneaton.
served on Coventry City Council for more than 20 years and followed his interest in disadvantaged people by chairing its social services committee.
in Coventry are celebrating being in business for nearly 100 years.
, aged 57, is to take legal action following the case at Birmingham Crown Court.
A pair known as Sam and Mike used an array of undercover tactics to secretly monitor the activities of Lionel Brandish
and Anthony Spencer, the jury at Birmingham Crown Court was told.