HIBS ace Paul Cairney has been cleared of fighting in a busy Glasgow street after a sheriff ruled he was defending himself.
Midfielder Cairney, 26, was arrested shortly after the incident in Queen Street on October 11, last year, and accused of hitting a man with a belt.
But after viewing CCTV footage, sheriff John Baird found Mr Cairney was not guilty and branded the incident a “vicious and sustained attack” on him.
He told Cairney: “It’s completely clear who the aggressor was in this situation and it certainly wasn’t you.”
The video showed Mr Cairney being hit with a belt by a man described by a police officer as six foot five inches tall and 18 stone.
Mr Cairney was captured picking up the belt that was dropped on the ground and lashed out at the man who then came at him throwing punches.
The footage showed Cairney swinging punches and retreating before running off and being pursued for a short distance by his attacker.
After the case Cairney, from Livingston, who has never been in trouble before said he was “pleased” the case was over.