THE victims of a snack van owner jailed for sexually abusing four girls have been left anguished after learning he will be released from prison next week.
Angus Brown was imprisoned for four-and-a-half years for preying on a string of girls, some as young as seven, over the course of more than a decade.
Now his victims are worried the pervert pensioner will be housed close to where they live when he is released on Wednesday after serving three years in Peterhead Prison.
One relative said the family were convinced Brown would be the subject of protests like the demonstrations which forced the rehousing of Da Vinci Code rapist Robert Greens.
Brown’s victims all still live in Midlothian and fear that Brown will be given accommodation near them by the council.
The family member, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “We received a letter telling us that Brown was being released on February 15.
“The victims live in various parts of Midlothian and we have a big family ourselves. That covers many parts of Midlothian. If Brown comes back here to live then we are concerned where he will stay.
“The victims are being left terrified that he will be put in the same place as them. They’ll be scared to go to the shops, the doctor’s surgery, anywhere they could bump into him again.
“We are being left in the dark.
“This will not come from our family, but if Brown is housed in Midlothian then I’m sure it will be the Robert Greens situation all over again. There will be the same kind of protests.
Greens, who raped a 19-year-old Dutch student near Rosslyn Chapel in 2005, was given a flat in Dalkeith town centre but more than 100 protesters marched on Midlothian Council offices, leading to his removal.
The family member added: “One of Brown’s victims lives in Dalkeith and she had to watch what was happening with Greens. She had to move out for a while because she couldn’t take seeing it. It reminded her of the abuse she suffered.
“We just want empathy for the family and the victims when Brown is being housed. The victims are already horrified he’s getting out after only three years. This is torture for young women who are still suffering and will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives.”
Brown, aged 64 when he was jailed in February 2009, sexually abused one girl as she helped out at his fast food van between 1996 and 2000, starting when she was just 12.
He abused the three other girls – aged between seven and 16 – at an address in Penicuik between 1988 and 2001.
It was almost 20 years before the four victims reported him to police.
A Midlothian Council spokesman said: “Public safety is of paramount importance, and we are working closely with our partner agencies to ensure that Scottish Government guidance relating to the risk management of sex offenders is followed.
“There are robust processes and procedures in place to manage sex offenders, but we cannot comment on individual cases.”
A Scottish Prison Service spokesman said: “We do not comment on individual prisoners”.