A RANGERS fan has been cleared of groping a steward while 'celebrating' during a match.

Garry Stokes, 33, allegedly handled the man's genitals at Ibrox Stadium on April 14, 2022.

The Gers faced Portuguese side Braga in the quarter-final of the Europe League that night.

The hosts would go on to win the match 3-1 after extra time.

Businessman Stokes was on trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court accused of sexually assaulting the steward.

Stokes, from Knightswood, pleaded guilty pre-trial to possession of cocaine at Ibrox.

The court watched CCTV of the alleged incident which showed two men close together.

One of the men appeared to reach behind where the steward was standing.

Prosecutor Jenny Reid said in her closing submissions: "The steward described Stokes grabbing at his genitals with his hand closed around his genitals.

"He described a feeling up motion which happened two or three times."

The fiscal depute recalled that the steward was "embarrassed and sick to his stomach".

She added: "It was put to him that this action was part of celebration behaviour and was kind of a joke.

"The steward said this was not something that you would do for a bit of banter with anyone."

Declan O'Keefe, defending Stokes, stated that the Crown's case was "like a jigsaw with too many pieces missing".

The court was told that the steward did not see his alleged attacker's face and gave a description of a man in black clothing to the police.

The lawyer said: "The police were given a highly vague description in the stadium with 50,000 fans.

"They came back with the description of Mr Stokes. You have no explanation how police found this man in black clothing."

Mr O'Keefe also denied that the offence was a sexual assault and there was "no sexual gratification".

He said: "This happened in a public place and there was no prior contact between parties."

Stokes was arrested at the match and later found with 0.6 grams of cocaine valued between £40 and £50.

Sheriff Diana McConnell found the sexual assault charge not proven.

She stated that the steward was "credible, reliable and the behaviour is accepted".

But the sheriff said there was a "gap" in the evidence and could not convict Stokes beyond reasonable doubt.

Stokes was fined £225 for the drug charge.