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 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 Cairney being hit with a belt by a man described as 6ft 5in and 18st.

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