East Lothian crime news: Angry Musselburgh residents take to the streets in protest over convicted child sex offender being housed in street
A group of pensioners have taken to the streets to protest at the housing of a convicted child sex offender in their East Lothian community.
The residents staged a peaceful demonstration outside a block of flats on Monday night (September 5) where convicted child sex offender Graham Brown has been placed by the local authority in Musselburgh.
The angry locals say they have been forced to take action and claim Brown is the second paedophile to be relocated to the town’s Watt’s Close in the past year.
The protestors – mainly in their 60s and 70s – made banners and placards with Brown’s details printed on them and the gathering was attended by two police officers.
Brown, 61, was moved into the quiet street in the week leading up to him pleading guilty to possessing indecent images of children at a recent hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
One pensioner, who did not wish to be named, said: “We have been forced into this protest by the council’s ridiculous decision to rehome this beast in our community.
“We are mostly pensioners in this street, along with a few families with young children, and for Brown to be placed here is really disgusting.
“We won’t stand for it and though we are all getting on a bit we still have plenty fight in us.”
A second pensioner said: “This is the second time in a week that we pensioners have taken to the streets to get him moved.
“For the council to treat us like this is unforgivable. We are a really close knit community and it is really unfair for us to be treated in this way.
“We wont give these demonstrations up until sense prevails and Brown is moved away from here.”
Monday night’s protest was the second time in the past week the residents of Watt’s Close have been on the streets protesting at Brown’s presence.
Around 20 homeowners prepared homemade signs and voiced their concerns outside the council buildings at the town’s Brunton Hall last Tuesday.
Last night a Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Police were called around 6.30pm on Monday, 5 September, 2022 following the report of a group gathered near Fisherrow, Musselburgh.
“Officers attended and the crowd has now dispersed.”
Graham Brown pled guilty to possessing 14 child abuse videos over a ten month period when he appeared at the Capital’s sheriff court on August 19.
The court was told police raided his home last year where they found 11 movies rated at Category A – the most depraved end of the scale – and three Category B films stored on a laptop.
The court heard the vile collection of images depicted young children being raped by adults.
Sheriff Chris Dickson placed Brown on the Sex Offenders Register and deferred sentence for reports to be prepared to later this month.
An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “Public safety is of paramount importance and the council works closely with our partner agencies to ensure that Scottish Government guidance is followed when allocating tenancies and in relation to the safe management of neighbourhoods.
“Under Data Protection rules we cannot comment on specific cases.”