David and Sarah Johnston left court on Monday completely exonerated of all charges relating to the death of their profoundly disabled granddaughter.
The trial ended in dramatic circumstances when judge Mr Justice McLaughlin directed the Crown Court jury to acquit the elderly couple - moments afterwards their daughter Cheryl McKeown, Rebecca's mother, collapsed outside the courtroom.
Rebecca, who was 14, died in March 2001 - five days after sustaining an injury thought to have been the result of a sexual assault, which the Crown claimed had happened while she was in the care of her grandparents.
But prosecuting QC Toby Hedworth said, having "anxiously" reviewed the state of the evidence and testimony which was yet to come, a decision had been made to offer no further evidence against Mr and Mrs Johnston.
Issuing a statement on their behalf, the Johnston's solicitor said they have suffered vilification and have even been intimidated out of their home.
"The lives of Mr and Mrs Johnston have been in turmoil for the last 11 years," Seamus Lenoard told the press.
Mr and Mrs Johnston have been vilified but throughout it all they have retained their immense dignity.
"Mr and Mrs Johnston are elderly grandparents who were intimidated from the home they had live in for 40 years - some taxi firms even refused to take them to court."
Mr Hedworth explained it was the evidence of Dr Mary Donnelly and of State Pathologist Professor Jack Crane that had led the Crown to their decision.
Eleven years after Rebecca's death, the doctor had admitted during the trial that her examination of the young girl may have unintentionally caused the internal injury.
Professor Crane had, during his testimony, said he could not be sure that the laceration had led to the Pneumonia that tragically killed the teenager.
After Mr Justice McLaughlin directed the jury of seven men and five women to find both Mr and Mrs Johnston not guilty and told them they were free to go, Mr Johnston told the judge: "Thank you very much."
In a statement the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) said the collapse of the trial "could not have been foreseen".
The decision to discontinue the prosecution has been taken as a result of the evidence given by a witness and medical experts at trial.
"On the morning that the witness was due to give evidence at Belfast Crown Court she provided an additional account of her examination of Rebecca which took place on 19 March 2001. This account had not previously been given by the witness to either the police or prosecution over the preceding 11 years," the PPS said.
The PPS statement claimed the medical opinion and new evidence "created a level of doubt in respect of the prosecution case which could not be excluded by the other medical experts due to be called on behalf of the prosecution".
The service added that the case had been properly brought.
However Mr Leonard criticised the police and PPS.
He said: "Mr and Mrs Johnston have been acquitted after the collapse of the prosecution case against them and their hitherto impeccable characters have been vindicated here today.
"The evidence has shown they were caring and loving grandparents who looked after Rebecca on hundreds of occasions and had been trained to look after her very special needs.
"We strongly hold the view that the police did not properly investigate all the circumstances surrounding the injury to the death of Rebecca but rather focussed inappropriately on Mr and Mrs Johnston.
"We firmly believe that no crime at all was ever committed and a miscarriage of justice has been prevented her today by this verdict."
In conclusion, Mr Leonard said the couple now wished "their right to privacy respected for the years they have to live together."
He added: "They wish to thank lawyers and many member of the public, not known to them, but who have over the recent weeks have sent letters and cards of support".