A Greek man whose obsession with the Highland home of infamous occultist Aleister Crowley has been jailed despite promising never to return to the spot.
Panagiotis Pierrakos had already breached an Inverness Sheriff Court order banning from going to within 8.7 miles of Boleskine House, overlooking Loch Ness.
During previous occasions, the court has heard that Pierrakos has an unhealthy fixation with the self-proclaimed “wickedest man in the world”.
Lawyer says client will change his ways
The 49-year-old appeared by video link for sentencing on a variety of offences today, including the breach of the special bail condition.
His lawyer, Natalie Paterson, said her client had promised not to flout the instruction again.
After hearing the details, Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald imposed a non-harassment order spanning five years, preventing Pierrakos going within five miles of the property.
She also jailed him for a total of 68 weeks, backdated to December 2, when he was remanded in custody.
His earliest release date is approximately the end of July or the beginning of August.
Historic property being restored
After two devastating fires in 2015 and 2019, Boleskine House has been undergoing a £1.2 million pound renovation project supervised by Keith and Kyra Readdy, who had been frequently pestered by the homeless man last year.
Pierrakos was also banned from contacting or approaching the couple for the same period.
The B-listed building was previously owned by occultist Crowley, who allegedly practised Black Magic there, and by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.
It was bought by the Readdys in 2019, who plan to turn it into a visitor attraction.
But on December 1, 2020, Pierrakos went to the Foyers property, about 10 miles from Inverness, in contravention of his bail order and refused to leave.
Fiscal depute Rowena Calrton told Sheriff Macdonald that the Readdys saw him walking up to the main building which is being renovated.
She said: “Mr Readdy headed up there to warn two other people working on the building. Pierrakos was told he shouldn’t be there.
“He was fidgeting and acting oddly and then picked up a plastic pole.
“They weren’t sure what he was going to do with it.
“He then asked a strange question: ‘are you having fun?’ It has been a year since we met, I like to see the progress of the place.’
“They negotiated with him to leave, gave him a cigarette and he put down the pole. Police arrived shortly afterwards.” Mrs Young said.
Struggle with police ensued
The court heard that when officers arrived, he struggled violently with them. He lashed out with his arms and legs, making contact and attempted to bite one officer on the arm.
Pierrakos admitted threatening behaviour and resisting arrest. He also pleaded guilty to spitting on an officer’s face in Raigmore Hospital on May 20, 2020 – a few days after appearing in court for returning to Boleskine House.
Ms Paterson said: “There are clear alcohol and substance abuse issues at the root of his offending. He wishes to combat these when he is at liberty and wants help.
“He understands he cannot go to Boleskine House and this extends to the Readdys and he will comply with an NHO. He has already spent a total of 172 days in custody.”
Sheriff Macdonald told Pierrakos, who constantly interrupted proceedings: “Spitting in the face of a police officer is an appalling offence, particularly in these times.”