CELTIC and Scotland striker Leigh Griffiths has walked free from court after a charge of assault against him was deserted.

The 23-year old footballer had been accused of assaulting a 22-year old man by seizing him by the neck and clothing and pushing him onto the road at North Bridge, Edinburgh, on June 19 last year. He denied the charge and lodged a special defence of self-defence.

Fiscal Depute Sarah Lumsden asked that the trial at Edinburgh's Justice of the Peace Court be adjourned as two Crown witnesses, the man allegedly assaulted and another man, had not been cited to appear. She said the men were no longer living at the addresses they had been when the assault allegedly took place. She added that if the men could be traced she understood "there is nothing to suggest these individuals are reluctant to attend".

She said she had only been made aware that the men had not been cited on Tuesday and asked for a new trial date of June 19.

The Fiscal added: "It is in the public interest this case continues".

But Griffiths' solicitor, Kathleen More, said she opposed The Crown motion.

Justice McEwan said: "The Crown's motion to adjourn is refused."

He deserted the case and told Griffiths he was free to leave the court.

Griffiths made no comment as he left the building.