We won’t just go away, Da Vinci rapist campaigners warn council

Protesters outside the home of Robert Greens in Bonnyrigg
Protesters outside the home of Robert Greens in Bonnyrigg
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CAMPAIGNERS fighting to remove Da Vinci rapist Robert Greens from Midlothian have accused authorities of “underestimating” them as they pledged to take the fight “all the way”.

The protesters were hoping for a showdown meeting with Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill today as they prepared for a demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament.

They have already gathered a 1500-name petition demanding Greens is moved out, and have accused the body tasked with overseeing the rehoming of Greens of “pulling the wool” over their eyes.

A march of hundreds of local protesters took place from Newtongrange to his home in Bonnyrigg this week, with campaigners then invited to a meeting with Midlothian Council officials and partner agencies of Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

However, organisers said they had been left wholly “underwhelmed” by the response. March organiser, Kelly Parry, whose group on website Facebook now numbers more than 5500 supporters, said: “We found the council and MAPPA’s response inappropriate and unacceptable.

“They are underestimating us, we feel they attempted to pull the wool over our eyes in an effort to buy time, thinking we’ll eventually just go away, but we’re not going away, the group is only getting stronger.

“Both sides have completely different objectives. We want Greens out of Midlothian while they only wish to work around the problem.

“We understand Greens must be rehoused somewhere but 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.” Ms Parry added: “We’re going to stick with this all the way. Midlothian Council claim to have no leeway in this but they do.

“The community is up in arms over this and the powers that be need to start addressing this properly. If only half of our number of supporters turn up we’ll put a wee fright into them.”

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.

A MAPPA spokesman said of the meeting with protesters: “We respect the rights of the protesters and commended their approach to a non-violent campaign. We tried to convey the complexity of managing registered sex offenders and we gave assurances we will continue to protect the public of Midlothian.”