Hundreds march in protest at Da Vinci rapist rehoming

A police escort heads the protesters
A police escort heads the protesters
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A HUGE crowd of protesters took to the streets last night to vent their fury at the rehousing of the Da Vinci Code rapist to a cottage near Bonnyrigg.

Police said that between 200 and 250 people had taken part in the march from Newtongrange village centre to Robert Greens’ home near Bonnyrigg, while organisers estimated at least 500 had participated.

A large police presence was in attendance and accompanied the crowd to Greens’ home, where marchers chanted behind metal barriers.

There was no sign of life at the cottage, where the curtains remained drawn, but hopes have been raised that the rapist could soon be moved.

March organiser Sharon O’Donnell announced on a loudspeaker that MAPPA, a collection of agencies that have responsibility for Greens, had agreed to meet march organisers today.

She said: “I’m delighted with how the march has gone, and we’ve been given the great news that MAPPA want to meet with us. We are not going away until he goes.

“We have a monster in our village. He is a very high risk of reoffending. Why should we put up with this?

“I know he has got to be somewhere, but we don’t think it should be in Midlothian where he committed that disgusting offence.”

Kelly Parry, another organiser of the campaign to move Greens out of the area, added: “The people of Midlothian have spoken, and this is just the start. We’ve collected 1500 signatures in two days and we have 3000 members on our Facebook group.”

Ms Parry said residents would consider boycotting rent or council tax payments if authorities failed to move Greens elsewhere.

Pleas for a peaceful protest, which were issued after two people were arrested for alleged breaches of the peace on Wednesday outside the property, were respected and no arrests were madA HUGE crowd of protesters took to the streets last night to vent their fury at the rehousing of the Da Vinci Code rapist to a cottage near Bonnyrigg.

Police said that between 200 and 250 people had taken part in the march from Newtongrange village centre to Robert Greens’ home near Bonnyrigg, while organisers estimated at least 500 had participated.

A large police presence was in attendance and accompanied the crowd to Greens’ home, where marchers chanted behind metal barriers.

There was no sign of life at the cottage, where the curtains remained drawn, but hopes have been raised that the rapist could soon be moved.

March organiser Sharon O’Donnell announced on a loudspeaker that MAPPA, a collection of agencies that have responsibility for Greens, had agreed to meet march organisers today.

She said: “I’m delighted with how the march has gone, and we’ve been given the great news that MAPPA want to meet with us. We are not going away until he goes.

“We have a monster in our village. He is a very high risk of reoffending. Why should we put up with this?

“I know he has got to be somewhere, but we don’t think it should be in Midlothian where he committed that disgusting offence.”

Kelly Parry, another organiser of the campaign to move Greens out of the area, added: “The people of Midlothian have spoken, and this is just the start. We’ve collected 1500 signatures in two days and we have 3000 members on our Facebook group.”

Ms Parry said residents would consider boycotting rent or council tax payments if authorities failed to move Greens elsewhere.

Pleas for a peaceful protest, which were issued after two people were arrested for alleged breaches of the peace on Wednesday outside the property, were respected and no arrests were made.

Many local residents on the march said they had been living in fear since they learned that Greens, who brutally raped a 19-year-old Dutch student in 2005, had moved into the area. His new home is just six miles away from Rosslyn Chapel, where he committed the crime.

He was jailed for ten years and a judge said Greens had committed “one of the worst cases of rape” ever dealt with at the High Court.

Courtney Crawford, 16, from Gorebridge, said: “We don’t feel safe. He’s five minutes away. My friends and I have been scared.”

Chelsea Martin, an 18-year-old from Newtongrange, added: “You don’t feel safe in your own home. He should be moved out of Midlothian. It’s so close to where he did it.”

Another protest is due to take place outside the Scottish Parliament tomorrow.

Residents from a housing development, who said they were too afraid of Greens to provide their names, said they were concerned that his cottage backed on to woodland which separated him from their homes.

“They’re saying it’s rural but no, it’s not,” one said. “We can see his back garden from our front door. If he jumps his back garden he’d be there in two minutes. They’ve put him near woods where he can hide.

“The women are terrified. There’s a path where women walk dogs and children go out on scooters, but they’ve been told not to go near it.”e.

Many local residents on the march said they had been living in fear since they learned that Greens, who brutally raped a 19-year-old Dutch student in 2005, had moved into the area. His new home is just six miles away from Rosslyn Chapel, where he committed the crime.

He was jailed for ten years and a judge said Greens had committed “one of the worst cases of rape” ever dealt with at the High Court.

Courtney Crawford, 16, from Gorebridge, said: “We don’t feel safe. He’s five minutes away. My friends and I have been scared.”

Chelsea Martin, an 18-year-old from Newtongrange, added: “You don’t feel safe in your own home. He should be moved out of Midlothian. It’s so close to where he did it.”

Another protest is due to take place outside the Scottish Parliament tomorrow.

Residents from a housing development, who said they were too afraid of Greens to provide their names, said they were concerned that his cottage backed on to woodland which separated him from their homes.

“They’re saying it’s rural but no, it’s not,” one said. “We can see his back garden from our front door. If he jumps his back garden he’d be there in two minutes. They’ve put him near woods where he can hide.

“The women are terrified. There’s a path where women walk dogs and children go out on scooters, but they’ve been told not to go near it.”