AN animal welfare activist staged a protest yesterday in a bid to persuade people not to eat turkey this Christmas.

Andrew Kirk, of Middlesbrough, standing outside McDonalds in the town's Linthorpe Road, wore a white apron soaked with fake blood. He carried a placard reading, "Let's Talk Turkey - Boycott It", and handed out leaflets to Christmas shoppers.

Mr Kirk, who staged a similar protest on behalf of Compassion in World Farming, in Darlington, on Saturday, fell foul of the law following an earlier pre-Christmas protest. He was convicted by Teesside magistrates for using threatening words and behaviour.

But on appeal, the ruling was overturned when the judge decided that Mr Kirk could not be censured for exercising his democratic right to protest.

He said yesterday: "I am highlighting the plight of turkeys because of Christmas."

On Saturday, police asked him to remove his apron and mask, but there was no sign of action against him yesterday