A MUSSELBURGH man has been cleared of behaving in a threatening manner and challenging a wrestler to fight with him.

Aiden McFarlane was alleged to have goaded wrestler David Middlemiss into a physical altercation after he had been asked to stop making noise in the street late at night.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told that McFarlane’s co-accused Tyler Mackenzie threw bin bags through Mr Middlemiss’s window, leading the sportsman to confront the pair outside his Edinburgh home.

The wrestler told the court that he was struck with a bottle and punched and kicked in the head.

McFarlane, of Rothesay Place, and Mackenzie, from Edinburgh, denied the allegations and stood trial over two days at the city court.

But after the trial heard evidence from four witnesses, the Crown said on Monday it was accepting pleas from both accused to amended charges.

McFarlane, 20, was acquitted of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by challenging Mr Middlemiss to fight with him and he walked free from the dock.

Mackenzie pleaded guilty to an amended charge of challenging the wrestler to fight with him and to throwing refuse bags at Grove Street, Edinburgh, on July 11 last year.

Mackenzie, an apprentice fire prevention engineer, had not guilty pleas to charges of assaulting Mr Middlemiss with a bottle and to possessing the bottle during the incident accepted by the Crown.

Sheriff Derek O’Carroll fined Mackenzie a total of £420 and ordered him to pay Mr Middlemiss £400 in compensation.

Previously, Mr Middlemiss told the trial that he was at home when he heard the two men causing commotion outside in the street at about 3am on July 11 last year.

The 30-year-old personal trainer said that he opened his window to ask the pair to stop making noise but was met with a barrage of abuse and challenged to fight.

He said he ignored the threats but was forced to go down and confront the men when he said bin bags full of rubbish were launched through his window.

Mr Middlemiss, who said he was in training to make the Commonwealth Games wrestling team at the time, told the court he was attacked with a bottle during the incident.

He also gave evidence that, after being knocked to the ground, he was punched and kicked to the head several times.

The wrestler told the court he was forced to use his ring skills on 20-year-old Mackenzie to defend himself.

He said: “I knew if I didn’t operate carefully, I could have been killed.

“He walked towards me and I crouched low and picked him up. I had my arms around his waist and picked him up – he wasn’t very heavy.

“I had one thing to do and that was to subdue him. I had been bottled and punched and kicked in the head. I was in fear of my life.

“My intention was to run his back into the wheelie bin as hard as I could so I could subdue him long enough for me to get away.

“It was the only option I could see.”