Protest march to demand removal of rapist Robert Greens

Police have closed the road and erected barriers as crowds continue to protest outside Greens' house
Police have closed the road and erected barriers as crowds continue to protest outside Greens' house
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PLANS for a protest march against the rehousing of the Da Vinci Code rapist have been announced as residents step up their efforts to oust the convicted sex offender.

The march will begin on Monday at 6.30pm outside Mayfield Doctor’s Surgery before heading through Newtongrange village centre and on to Greens’ house.

March organiser Sharon O’Donnell said: “Everything’s in place for the march – we want to stress, though, this will be a peaceful protest and march.

“We therefore ask everyone who wishes to attend to respect that and keep it good natured.”

A Midlothian Council spokesman said: “We are aware of the march plans. Officers are working in conjunction with the police and organisers.”

Mindful of maintaining public support following the arrest of two people for alleged breaches of the peace on Wednesday night, protesters have also urged those wishing to attend to park responsibly and protest peacefully, between the hours of 7pm and 11pm each night, before leaving.

They have also asked that no children under the age of 12 be brought to the protest and that all other children leave by 9.30pm.

Lothian and Borders Police Superintendent Liz McAinsh, has likewise called for calm among protesters.

She said: “We fully understand the public concern that exists around Robert Greens’ return to the community, which has been expressed through recent protest activity.

“This activity has been mostly peaceful, and we would like to thank the majority of participants who have conducted themselves in a law-abiding manner.

“While police are committed to facilitating peaceful protest, it is important to point out that such demonstrations require a significant policing commitment, which inhibits the police’s ability to respond effectively to other ongoing incidents in the community.

“I am also concerned that innocent people may be put at risk as a result of inappropriate behaviour arising during demonstrations.

“We would continue to appeal to people to remain calm, and to work with all of the partners involved in MAPPA for the benefit of the wider community.”

Residents have become increasingly angry that greater concern is seemingly given to Greens’ welfare than public fears for safety.

John Byrn, from Gorebridge, whose son, also John, was cautioned for honking in support, said: “It’s ridiculous the protection he’s being given.

“My son was cautioned about sounding his horn without reason, what better reason than this? He was told by the cop that his car was now known but the rapist is still under protection, it’s so messed up.”

Police shut the B704 road outside Greens’ secluded cottage near Bonnyrigg for a second night as part of a clampdown on motorists, after several drivers were cautioned for honking their horns in support of the protest.

A force spokesman confirmed that the road would continue to be closed as and when deemed necessary.

Greens’ new home is just six miles from Rosslyn Chapel, where he brutally raped a 19-year-old Dutch student in 2005. He was jailed for ten years after what a judge described as “one of the worst cases of rape” ever dealt with at the High Court.