East Lothian locals demand alleged sex offender is booted out

Residents in a small rural community have held a second night of protests after an alleged sex offender was moved into a vacant family home in their hamlet.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 4:45 pm

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People in Humbie, East Lothian, gathered outside the council property, which is a short distance from the local primary school, last night with placards demanding the man is removed.

The angry mob fear for the safety of local youngsters and insist that the man at the centre of the row should be rehoused elsewhere by East Lothian Council

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The semi-rural Humbie street at the centre of the row.

It is understood the man has already been driven out of previous addresses in the county, including a flat in Musselburgh over the summer, and is now at his third East Lothian address.

One local resident said there was anger and disbelief that the council had chosen to move the man into their tight-knit community and take up a prized family home.

She said: “We can’t understand why the council would allocate a two bedroomed family home to a single guy .

Demonstrators outside the property in Humbie

“He is next door to a vulnerable couple and a family with a six year old girl and he is a few hundred yards from the primary school.

“With such a shortage of family homes in East Lothian it seems unbelievable that he is the best candidate for this house.”

Another resident said efforts to engage with the local authority over the decision to home the 59-year-old in Humbie had met with silence.

He said: “It beggars belief that they thought putting him in such a close community would go unnoticed and not cause concern.

“They might as well have housed him in a goldfish bowl, this is not the place for him.”

A spokesperson for East Lothian Council confirmed they were aware of the protests outside the property this week but refused to divulge any details about the individual or his housing arrangements.

They 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.”

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