A SHERIFF cleared a Celtic fan of bigotry despite telling him he used sectarian language.

Thomas Boyle, 18, allegedly shouted abuse at Rangers fans at Celtic Park in December 2019.

Boyle was claimed to have said: "Get to f*** you bunch of dirty orange b******s."

This was backed up by witness PC Stuart McLennan who recorded the incident on a handheld camcorder.

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But, Sheriff Kenneth Hogg found the case against Boyle not proven after poor audio on the video of the alleged incident.

He told Boyle: "I have seen the evidence and looked at the video.

"The question is whether you used sectarian abuse.

"You and I both know you used sectarian abuse.

"The fortunate position for you is I can't establish that on the basis of the law with corroboration.

"Looking at the video, I would be convicting someone for crass stupidity and I can't convict someone for that.

"You would have been convicted if the evidence was stronger and you are fortunate the evidence doesn't stack up."

Boyle, of the city's Govan, was acquitted of the single threatening or abusive behaviour aggravated by religious prejudice charge.

PC McLennan told Glasgow Sheriff Court earlier that he heard Boyle shouting abuse at Rangers fans at the segregation 15 minutes after the final whistle.

Prosecutor Ross Cannighan asked the officer to describe what was said.

He replied: "Get to f*** you bunch of dirty orange b******s."

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The officer added that Boyle said it in an "aggressive" tone and it was "alarming."

The court was then shown the footage from the match.

Boyle appeared to shout before rubbing his stomach while looking in the direction of the Rangers fans.

Des Ziolo, defending, said: "It's not clear what is said on the camera footage."

PC McLennan replied: "Yes, it doesn't help when Rangers fans are chanting."