Police close road as hundreds lay siege to Da Vinci rapist’s house
Police closed the rural road leading to Greens’ cottage as between 500 and 600 marchers assembled at the property, located just six miles from Rosslyn Chapel, near Bonnyrigg, where he brutally raped a 19-year-old Dutch student in 2005.
It was the second major protest organised by angry residents against Greens since he was controversially rehoused in the area last month, with several campaigners camped outside at most other times.
Last night, police lined the road in front of Greens’ cottage after erecting barricades to stop protesters getting too close.
The curtains of the cottage remained shut and no-one entered the property.
Organisers said last night’s march – which converged at the barricades from two different starting points – was “much larger” than the first.
The first group left from Newtongrange Park with a second section departing from Cockpen Church.
Addressing the crowd, co-organiser Sharon O’Donnell said: “This is a fantastic turnout once again. We are keeping our protests peaceful and not sinking down to his level. We want him to know that we are staying until he is gone.”
Speaking later to the News, she said: “There were two sides of the community coming together and united to get this vile creature we have living here out.”
Asked about the use of laser pens at the property, Kelly Parry – one of the protest leaders whose Facebook group demanding the rapist is moved out of Midlothian has more than 12,000 members – said she had not been aware of it.
“We would not condone anything other than peaceful methods of protest,” she said.
Protests have been ongoing outside Greens’ home night and day, with a Portaloo and makeshift campsite now erected.
Campaigners have also held talks over refusing to pay rent or council tax to Midlothian Council if Greens is not moved.
One protester, William Cowan, 67, said: “To rehouse him here at a place like this is unbelievable. I would have put him on the Bass Rock.”
Detective Superintendent Alan Crawford, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: “We want to assure the public that their safety is paramount and robust procedures are in place to manage Robert Greens’ return to the community.
“Robert Greens is from Midlothian and as such local agencies have the responsibility by law to manage him on his release from prison.”