Man jailed for torching Santa's grotto
CCTV footage showed 30-year-old Jason Sheridan entering a yard in Grant Street on December 16 and leaving shortly afterwards, the town’s sheriff court heard.
The grotto was awaiting transport to the local business park in time for children’s visits in the run-up to Christmas.
Sheridan, whose address was given as HM Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow, was said to have been furious about a friend having been arrested for breaching bail and believed someone had grassed her to the police. He had come north from Manchester seeking work and got a job at a local diner but was sent home for turning up under the influence of drink.
Sheridan left the diner, telling the proprietor: “I am going to take care of some business.”
Sheridan admitted starting the fire and an extensive record.
Detective Sergeant Fiona Moar, who led the investigation, said: "This was a particularly thoughtless act which caused considerable damage to a community facility set up for children in the run up to Christmas.
"Although nobody was injured in this incident, deliberately setting fires is an inherently dangerous and reckless act".