TWO drunken thugs who killed a gecko lizard by putting it in a food blender have been given a chance to avoid custody.
Daniel Innes (20) and Jordan McIsaac (18) were at a party in Aberchirder when they killed one gecko by dropping it on the floor and put the other through the blender, while filming the sick moment.
The pair appeared at Banff Sheriff Court on Tuesday for sentencing following the preparation of background reports.
Sheriff Philip Mann said it was one of the most difficult cases in his 11 years on the bench.
"It can only be described as evil and perhaps chillingly evil, and a matter of great concern.
"It would merit a custodial sentence and a lot of people in the communitym including animal lovers, would applaud if I sent you to custody."
However, Sheriff Mann said he did not like sending young men to custody and he deferred sentence for three months for them to demonstrate to the court they can behave.
He also suggested they contact the Scottish SPCA and offer to volunteer, to prove they are "truly remorseful". He said if they came back to court with a letter from the Scottish SPCA he might refrain from sending them to custody.
Solicitors for Innes, of Inverurie, and McIsaac, of Banff, said they were disgusted by their behaviour.
The pair were also placed under a curfew by the sheriff and must remain within their homes between 10pm and 5am.
Following the court case, Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: "We are pleased to see that McIsaac and Innes have been dealt with by the court.
"Due to the horrific nature of their crime it would not be appropriate for them to volunteer with the society."