A schoolboy accused of throwing a lighter at Rangers captain James Tavernier has walked free from court after the case against him collapsed.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was at the SPFL Premiership clash between Motherwell and Rangers when items were lobbed onto the pitch at Fir Park.

He was later identified and charged following an interview at Motherwell police station.

Footage from the game, beamed live on Sky Sports, showed a lighter and pie being launched onto the park as Tavernier, 27, was trying to take a throw-in.

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Referee Nick Walsh stopped the game as he picked up the lighter and handed it to a nearby police officer and a probe started to catch those responsible.

The teenager, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, denied throwing the item at the right back in April this year and went on trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

But the case collapsed after two police officers said they had only taken statements in the case and had not viewed CCTV footage of the alleged incident.

After hearing evidence for less than 10 minutes, depute fiscal Claire Connachan said: "The Crown are no longer seeking a conviction on this matter."

Sheriff Vincent Smith told the teenager, who sat in the dock wearing his school uniform, the case was over.

He added: "As you've heard, the Crown have decided not to proceed any further in this matter so you are acquitted and are now free to go."

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Rangers won the clash 3-0 after a hat-trick from midfielder Scott Arfield.

The behaviour of fans at the game was blasted by Rangers manager Steven Gerrard who said: "It seems like we’re trying to send messages out every time we speak to the media, which is a shame.

“It’s dangerous for the players when there are objects thrown on to the pitch, whether it be a lighter or whatever it may be. It needs to stop.”

Earlier this year, a Hibs fan was jailed for 100 days after confronting Tavernier at Easter Road.

Cameron Mack, of Port Seton, East Lothian, leapt a barrier, booted the ball away and approached the Rangers star before being dragged away by police and stewards in March this year.

The 22-year-old was banned from attending any Scottish football matches for ten years.