An animal lover who threatened staff at Montrose hair salon over an antique fox fur window display - then returned to splash red paint all over her shop while posing as a member of an animal rights group - today avoided a jail term.
Simon Drahony told staff at the town’s 3sixty to remove the 100-year-old fur from their window in January, and then returned with a 24-hour ultimatum a week later.
Owner Dawn Kerr took the item out of the window to avoid reprisals.
But Forfar Sheriff Court today heard the 58-year-old became enraged when police activity over the incident became known, and took a tin of gloss to the shop’s frontage on February 1.
Drahony then posted a red-ink message through the door, which purported to be from an animal rights group and warned “we act outwith the law”.
The shop changes its window display every month and decided on a Burns theme for that month.
The mannequin in the window had a tartan bodice and a skirt made out of wigs as well as the fur, which belonged to a member of staff’s great-grandmother.
However, Drahony claimed the fur was “upsetting everybody in Montrose” when he first visited the Murray Street shop and spoke to Ms Kerr (43).
Fiscal depute Kirsten Thomson said Drahony repeated to an employee: “You have 24 hours to take the fox fur out of the window.”
Ms Thomson said the shop had to be industrially cleaned, sanded and repainted, costing around £500.
Drahony, of Little Nursery, Montrose, pleaded guilty to committing a breach of the peace and vandalism.
Defence solicitor Nick Markowski said: “He took an animal care course and runs an unofficial sanctuary for small mammals.
“It is something he is passionate about.
“The display was about Burns Night.
“I’m not a Burns scholar but he might be someone described as a conservationist and humanist before those terms were even invented.
“He went in and made his views clear, then this happened.”
Sheriff Gregor Murray imposed a community payback order with 100 hours unpaid work on Drahony and ordered him to pay £500 compensation.
He said: “You are perfectly entitled to hold your views.
“What you are not entitled to do is demonstrate them in the manner you did.”