DEMONSTRATORS have laid siege to the new home of Da Vinci Code rapist Robert Greens and taken to the streets to demand his eviction.
More than 100 people marched on Midlothian Council’s head office to protest after the 33-year-old convict was housed in a residential block in Dalkeith, surrounded by families.
Greens was released from HMP Saughton last week after serving five years of a ten-year sentence for a sex attack on a 19-year-old Dutch student near Rosslyn Chapel in 2005.
Yesterday, residents – who discovered Greens’ new home after it was reported in the press – demanded the local authority remove him from his newly-refurbished flat.
Police looked on as residents, many holding placards saying “get rapist out”, marched on council offices after surrounding his home at the housing block not far from the town centre.
Resident Courtney Ritchie, 81, who lives with his wife Catherine, 81, and is visited regularly by his eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, spoke of his anger at not being told he would be living next to the rapist.
He told the Evening News: “We only knew about this when we read about it in the paper on Monday. We read he’d been quietly taken out of prison to a secret destination – which turned out to be next door to us.
“The workers had been in and out, refurbishing the place, new kitchens and carpets, and my wife said we must be getting a VIP moving in. Little did we know it was going to be him.
“Everybody’s quite upset about it. Nobody wants him here. It’s still fresh in people’s minds, what he did. Rosslyn’s only up the road from us and it was only a few years ago.”
Mr Ritchie added: “We were told he was at the library today, with his minders, but we haven’t seen him.
“We see them going back and forward and we reckoned he could be dressed up to make sure no-one caught sight of him.”
In the town centre, seven-year-old Amy Jo Dickson, was at the head of yesterday’s protest march, carrying a placard saying “Get rapist out” and shouting: “Get the beast out. Out, out, get the rapist out”.
Protest organiser, Alex Morris was allowed in to Midlothian House to meet a housing official.
The 56-year-old said afterwards: “Now that we’ve marched, everyone knows where he lives so they’ll have no choice but to move him.
“It sickens me that we, the innocent members of the public, have no rights. The rights lie with a rapist, and that’s not right.
“We won’t rest until he’s out, and I’ll be here on Monday morning if he’s not.”
Susan Dickson, 28, said her seven-year-old daughter was terrified of Greens and had not slept since he moved in.
She said: “It’s an absolute disgrace. I’ve seen him peeking his head through the curtains and it makes me sick every time I see him in his blue woolly hat. He has to go – anywhere but here.”
Greens’ crime was described by the judge in the case as “one of the worst cases of rape” ever dealt with at the High Court.
One witness thought the victim had been in a car crash.
He was dubbed the Da Vinci Code rapist after attacking the woman near Rosslyn Chapel, which is featured in Dan Brown’s novel.
Detective Superintendent Alan Crawford of Lothian and Borders Police, chairman of the Multi Agency Public Protection Panel, said on behalf of the authorities: “Our multi agency public protection arrangements are in place to make sure that the protection of children, vulnerable adults and other victims are key in our approach to dealing with sex offenders who present a risk to the community.
“There are robust processes and procedures in place to manage sex offenders, but we cannot comment on individual cases.”