Guards watch serial rapist at hospice after death threats

SECURITY has been stepped-up at a hospice where a serial sex offender is receiving treatment amid claims his life is under threat.

Monday, 11th September 2017, 8:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 10:31 am
Robert Clyde. Picture: Lesley Donald

Convicted rapist Robert Clyde is now being watched round-the-clock by a total of six G4S prison custody guards who split 12-hour shifts at the Marie Curie palliative care home in Frogston.

It is estimated the cost to the taxpayer of guarding the 73-year-old, who is believed to be receiving treatment for a terminal brain illness, is in the region of £2,300 per week.

A whistleblower told the Evening News that Clyde has received a “threat to life” notice from police known as an Osman warning. A guard has been placed permanently at reception and two guards are constantly in Clyde’s private room which is on the first floor after it was decided to move him up from ground level. The keypad entry system is now in full use and visitors to the hospice have to buzzed in and out and must be accompanied by a staff member when moving between floors.

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Robert Clyde now has round-the-clock security at the Marie Curie Hospice. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Linda Duke, 49, a victim who was sexually abused by Clyde between the ages of six to 16 said the man she describes as a “monster” should “die in jail”.

The whistleblower said: “They moved him last weekend, from the ground up to the first floor and they’ve put additional security on to reception. There’s a 24-hour guard at reception and he’s still got two guards sitting in his room round-the-clock, so at any time he’s got three guards watching him.

“He’s not just in there for his health, I heard they [security] were expecting some kind of retribution against him and he’s received a death threat Osman warning from the police.

“It’s totally unique that Marie Curie are having to put up with this but – what about a risk assessment for the staff?

Robert Clyde now has round-the-clock security at the Marie Curie Hospice. Picture: Ian Georgeson

“If there’s dangerous people looking out for him, why else would they have the guards – to prevent him going on the run, that’s straightforward, and to prevent him attacking the staff, but that’s unheard of.

“They’ve put the place into lockdown, you need a code to get in and out the doors, even the visitors can’t walk about like they used to. The security has gone up a level.”

Clyde is originally from Ireland but was living in Niddrie when he was caught by police in 2013 after repeatedly raping a woman over two days at his home.

Detectives delved into his past and uncovered evidence that he began molesting four young girls over a 40-year period starting in 1970.

They also discovered he assaulted two boys – one who was aged just four when the attacks began – for a period of 16 years. Clyde wept in the dock after he was convicted of 13 charges and was jailed for nine years.

Margaret Watt, chair of the Scotland Patient Association said the decision to release Clyde into the hospice on August 23 from Saughton prison was “totally obscene”.

Keith Robson, Chief Executive of Age Scotland, said: “We understand the concerns of patients and their families, as well as the difficult situation for Marie Curie Hospice.

“We hope that families are being kept informed about any additional security measures.”