Two Scottish teenage boys escaped a jail sentence for breaking into the tomb of one of Scotland's most violent noblemen and taking a skull to use as a ventriloquist's dummy.

Sonny Devlin, 17, and a 15-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons, were put on probation for three and two years respectively under the ancient crime of "violation of sepulchre" - the first such trial for over a century, according to newspapers.

Last June, the boys broke into the mausoleum of Sir George "Bloody" MacKenzie, a senior official of Charles II who died in 1691.

He earned his nickname for his zealous persecution of Presbyterians.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1094378.htm