HIBERNIAN footballer Paul Cairney has been cleared of fighting in a busy Glasgow street when a sheriff ruled he was defending himself.

Cairney, 26, was arrested 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 Cairney was not guilty of breach of the peace and branded the incident a "vicious" attack on him.

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The video showed Cairney being hit with a belt by a man described by a police officer as six foot five inches tall and 18 stone.

The footage showed Cairney swinging punches and retreating before running off and being pursued by his attacker.

After the case Cairney, from Livingston, said he was "pleased" the case was over.