Republic of Ireland Assistant Manager Roy Keane has been found not guilty of a public order offence in connection with an alleged road rage incident earlier this year.

The 42-year-old, the former Ireland and Manchester United captain, was accused of behaving aggressively towards taxi driver Fateh Kerar near traffic lights in Manchester on 30 January. 

The Ireland legend gave evidence from the witness box himself and, after a half-day trial at Manchester Magistrates' Court, he was cleared of the offence.

District Judge Duncan Birrell said there was something of the "thwarted fan" about Mr Kerar and Keane's lawyer described the whole incident as a "storm in a tea cup".

Keane was cleared of causing harassment, alarm or distress - a Public Order offence.

Dismissing the case against Keane, the judge told him: "I have listened with great care to the evidence in your case. The burden of proof is on the prosecution.

"It's my view, taking, as I have said, a careful account of the evidence, that they have failed to discharge their burden; therefore I find you not guilty."

He added that the evidence was "riddled with inconsistencies and improbabilities".

He told Keane: "You probably will regret getting out of the car."

The defendant made no reaction as the verdict was given.

Keane told the court he did not flick a "V" sign at Mr Kerar, who had accused Keane of swearing and staring at him as both were parked up in Altrincham, Cheshire on the morning of January 30 this year.

Football fan Mr Kerar, told the court "I love Roy Keane", but claimed the Old Trafford legend, now the assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland, gave him "bad looks".

Mr Kerar said Keane later followed him in his car before flicking the V sign then getting out of his black Land Rover and approaching the cab swearing at him.

But the former Ipswich and Sunderland manager denied any wrongdoing from the witness box.

Keane wearing a black suit, white shirt and blue, said he was "chilling out, relaxing" in his car waiting for his wife when he noticed Mr Kerar across the road in his taxi.

Keane said they nodded to acknowledge each other but as they both moved off in their cars the cabbie made a gesture.

Keane, pushing the corners of his mouth up with his fingers, told the court: "He gave me a smirking gesture."