Nurses’ anger as serial sex offender pensioner freed into care

Robert Clyde was convicted of multiple sex offences. Picture: Lesley Donald
Robert Clyde was convicted of multiple sex offences. Picture: Lesley Donald

A SERIAL sex offender who raped a woman and sexually assaulted four young girls over a 40-year period has been released from prison to be cared for at a hospice in the Capital.

Robert Clyde, 73, is being guarded round the clock as he receives the same level of care for a “brain illness” as members of the public would at the Marie Curie Hospice in Frogston.

A whistleblower contacted the Evening News to say some staff were refusing to enter the predator’s room and nurses are angry that they have been put in a position where they have to treat him to maintain the integrity of their profession.

Housekeeping staff who were told his name were warned “not to Google him” and to treat him with “respect” when he arrived with G4S security guards on August 23 from Saughton Prison. However, the nurses weren’t told anything.

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.

Police delved into the Irishman’s past and uncovered evidence that he began molesting the youngsters 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.

Politicians and campaigners have questioned whether it is right that a serving prisoner who committed such crimes over 40 years should be let out of prison to die in a hospice.

The source said: “He came in on August 23 and none of the staff knew about his past. What happened was obviously when he came in with the 24-hour G4S security guards it gave the staff a bit of a clue and alarm bells started to go off.

“He’s got security guards and he’s now been given a private room on the ground floor with two guards doing 12-hour shifts, then another two come, six till six.

“Now, somebody is paying for that and it’s a hell of a lot of money apart from anything else. All the staff have been told is that he’s got a problem with his brain.

“The horrible thing is he’s sharp and alert and he doesn’t seem to be at end of life.”

Marie Curie said that for reasons of patient confidentiality they were unable to confirm any details of individuals in their care and would not be drawn on their policy with regard to refusing to accept certain offenders.

At present the hospice in Frogston receives 40 per cent funding from NHS Lothian.

Margaret Watt, of Scotland Patients Association, attacked the decision to release Clyde for care.

She said: “He should still be in jail and he should die in jail.

“He shouldn’t be allowed back into the public domain. You draw the line in that you don’t put him into a place where he has the potential to offend again – that is obscene.

“I wouldn’t expect the nurses to have to deal with someone like that – to put him in the hospice is totally unacceptable.”

Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said: “It’s a difficult situation for Marie Curie to deal with.

“However, this is a vile, depr­aved individual who ruined the lives of many.

“As such, people will clearly be angry that he is being given access to this type of facility and some may wonder why he should be given access to the first-class services Marie Curie specialise in.”