Police talk Da Vinci rapist out of urge to reoffend

Protesters have laid siege to Robert Greens' home in Bonnyrigg

Protesters have laid siege to Robert Greens' home in Bonnyrigg

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POLICE had to talk Da Vinci rapist Robert Greens out of committing another offence, a court has been told.

Pressure from campaigners bidding to force the 34-year-old from a secluded cottage near Bonnyrigg in Midlothian was said to have left him “enraged”.

The claims were made at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday during a hearing at which Lothian and Borders Police won a fresh temporary order to control Greens’ movements.

Greens – who was jailed in 2005 for raping a 19-year-old Dutch student at Rosslyn Chapel, just six miles from his new home – is fighting an attempt to have a sexual offences prevention order (Sopo) imposed permanently.

The Sopo would grant police the opportunity to constantly monitor him – something which they say will stop him from committing more offences.

But Greens, who currently wears an electronic tag, says the order contravenes his human rights.

His new temporary order runs until August 6, when a hearing will determine whether it should be granted on a permanent basis.

Protesters today welcomed the court’s decision to grant police the Sopo powers.

Kelly Parry, whose Facebook group campaigning to have the rapist moved out of Midlothian has more than 12,000 members, said: “We are delighted that this order has been continued as he is a very dangerous individual who has never admitted his actions.

“The sheriff seems to share our view that he is danger to the public. There has to be a better solution than placing him in a secluded cottage beside young female neighbours, within just a few miles of where he committed his original crime.”

Yesterday’s hearing came after three weeks of angry protests outside Greens’ new home. The News told last week how every local authority in the UK had refused to provide him with housing.

At the court, Lothian and Borders Police solicitor Andy McGlone urged Sheriff Isabella McColl to put Greens’ concerns to one side. Mr McGlone said the force required the Sopo to protect the public.

He added: “He has contacted the police and the social work department at Midlothian Council to tell them about how he fears that he will reoffend.

“The police have on occasion attended his home to talk him down and dissuade him not to commit more offences.

“The trigger factors for reoffending are present – he is currently experiencing feelings of rage, loss of control and feelings of humiliation.

“He is angered by the constant presence of 60-odd protesters outside his home. I would ask your ladyship to extend the order. It is necessary to maintain public order and safety.”

The court heard how police officers had received phone calls from Greens in which he told them he could reoffend, while Mr McGlone also said the rapist had threatened to confront his former wife, prompting concerns from officers that he could harm her.

Mr McGlone said that a family member heard that Greens was ready to leave his home and travel to see his estranged spouse.

However, they managed to contact him on his mobile telephone and persuaded him not to leave his house.

The force fears that without the Sopo order, visitors could come into his house and fall victim to a sexual assault.

Officers also fear that he could leave his home and travel to locations in Midlothian and Scotland and also commit more crimes of a sexual nature.

Mr McGlone warned that protesters had left Greens feeling stressed out, which could make him more dangerous.

He said: “In recent weeks, there has been public disorder and protests. It is a concern that these protests might trigger feelings of rage, feelings of loss of control and of humiliation.”

Greens’ solicitor, Tony Kelly, told the court that his client had contacted police because he was concerned about the terms of the Sopo order.

Mr Kelly said that the order was so strict that Greens was worried that he might break it and be returned to custody.

Denying claims Greens had threatened to break the law again, Mr Kelly added: “He is virtually a prisoner in his own home. He contacted the police to seek advice about the terms of the order.”

Mr Kelly also urged Sheriff McColl not to grant an extension to the order.

However, she refused, and extended the order on a temporary basis until August 6.

Until then, Greens isn’t allowed to contact his ex-wife, members of her family or visit an undisclosed location in Midlothian.

Officers are also able to knock on his door at any time and he is obliged to answer their queries.

Sheriff McColl also said that at the next hearing she would determine whether the order is granted on a permanent basis.

Her ruling was warmly welcomed by protesters who held a strategy meeting in the Star Club in Newtongrange last night.

Campaigners vowed to redouble their efforts and claimed their bid to have Greens relocated was working.

Ms Parry said: “Over 100 people turned up to the meeting which was fantastic and everyone was over the moon with Sheriff McColl’s comments.

“What this ruling has done is reinforced our belief that Greens should not be rehoused in Midlothian. He is a danger to this community.

“Mappa [Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements] and Midlothian Council thought that we would just go away, but we’re not. This is community power in action and we will not let up until he is removed and housed elsewhere.”