Men killed gecko in kitchen blender at Aberdeenshire house party
Two men who killed an Aberdeenshire family's pet geckos in a "chillingly evil" act have been told they will avoid jail if they show true remorse.
Daniel Innes, 20, and Jordan McIsaac, 18, put one of the lizards in a kitchen blender and the other fell to its death.
The pair filmed the act on a mobile phone during a house party in Aberchirder in March last year.
The sheriff said it was one of the most "difficult" cases he has faced.
Banff Sheriff Court heard Innes and McIsaac used the householder's teenage son's phone to film the crime as he slept.
His mother Amanda Bibby, 33, returned home early from a weekend break to find her pets dead, with Innes also causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to her home.
Sheriff Philip Mann told Innes and McIsaac that their crime was "chillingly evil" and a "matter of great concern".
"You've given me one of the most difficult cases I've yet to deal with on the bench and I've been on the bench for about 11 years," he said.
He deferred the sentence for three months for good behaviour and for the men to show they are "truly remorseful."
The sheriff also suggested the men contact the Scottish SPCA to ask if there was anything they could do to make amends for their behaviour.
He told the men that if they returned with a positive letter from the charity they would be spared jail.
However, responding to the case Scottish SPCA Ch Supt Mike Flynn said: "Due to the horrific nature of their crime it would not be appropriate for them to volunteer with the society."
Mr Flynn added that the organisation was pleased to see that the pair had been dealt with by the court.