Property formerly occupied by sex offenders up for rent

Council workers have been preparing the cottage for new tenants
Council workers have been preparing the cottage for new tenants
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THIS charming sandstone villa, with its inviting red front door, is being touted as a desirable family residence by council chiefs keen to see it occupied by Christmas.

But look past its cute, slated roof and lush doorstep greenery – the security camera trained on the door is a clue to the previous tenants it has housed.

For this seemingly charming cottage has housed a number of sex offenders – sparking protests in the area.

It is now back on the council’s list of available properties – prompting some bemused locals to ask – “who would want to live in a home like this?”

The last occupant moved in to the property in June, sparking widespread scenes of unrest.

One local told us: “It’s a house from hell, we’re pleased to see the back of the person who was in it – and the attendant chaos.”

Two neighbouring properties at Ramsey Cottages are also being offered to those on the council’s housing list.

One of the former occupants of the cottage was child sex offender William Dunsmore, who abused and raped a child from the age of seven until 11.

Dunsmore, 75, was linked to a paedophile ring, whose victims included his own grand-daughter, Dana Fowley.

The pensioner’s daughter, Caroline, allowed her daughter to be raped by up to 15 men for more than a decade.

He moved to the Bonnyrigg cottage after being released from jail in 2009. After his release, devastated Dana, 31, warned he would “always be a danger to children”.

Speaking in 2009 she said: “I’m shocked that a man who has raped a child on repeated occasions is being released after such a short time. He should’ve been given a life sentence. He will always be a danger to children.”

Council chiefs hope that the three cottages will be re-let to tenants by Christmas. Workmen have been on site to remove cameras and panic buttons that were fitted to the residence because of the nature of the previous occupants.

One local said: “They’ve been carrying out work at the cottages. It looks like they’ve been removing the security cameras and doing the place up.

“There’s been a steady stream of work. They’re hoping to get someone in by Christmas. It’ll make someone a nice home, if they can get past the association.”

A Midlothian Council spokesman said: “Three properties near Newtongrange will soon be available for renting again. One of the properties is vacant as its former tenant had the tenancy terminated after being remanded in prison while facing criminal charges and other legal proceedings.

“The two other properties are vacant as their tenants asked to be relocated. It is expected all three will be re-let by Christmas. It is not possible to give further details of the former tenant due to the risk of prejudicing criminal charges.”