Celtic and Scotland star, Leigh Griffiths has walked free from court after a charge of assault against him was deserted.

The 23-year old had been charged with 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. He arrived for his trial in the company of his girlfriend, Linzi McCartney.

Fiscal Depute Sarah Lumsden asked that the trial be adjourned as two Crown witnesses, the alleged victim and another man, had not been cited to appear.

She added: "It is in the public interest this case continues. This was a violent and unprovoked attack on a complete stranger to the accused on a public street in the middle of the day."

Griffiths' defence solicitor, Kathleen More, said: "He is a professional footballer of considerably high profile playing for Scotland and Celtic.

"These proceedings are having a major impact on his career at a national and local level. Every time he requires to be in court he is the subject of media attention and this is stressful to him."

Justice McEwan pointed out that The Crown had stated in March that the men had been cited.

He referred to a High Court statement that it was in the public interest that summary cases be dealt with speedily.

He said: "The complainer indeed has the right to expect justice, but any accused has the right to expect the charges against him to be dealt with expeditiously.

"Taking that into ­account, The Crown's motion to adjourn is refused."

He told Griffiths he was free to leave the court.

Griffiths made no comment as he left the building.