RESIDENTS across Midlothian have been urged to stay calm after another mob took to the street in a bid to drive out the Da Vinci Code rapist.
A local councillor said today that while he sympathised with locals, they had to trust the authorities that they would be kept safe.
It comes after more than 100 people descended on a homeless unit yesterday in Loanhead after rumours Robert Greens was living there, despite assurances from police on the scene he was not. It is understood a resident of the homeless shelter had reported Greens was living there, which sparked the second march in the area in a fortnight.
It confirms fears raised when Greens, 33, was released back into Midlothian, after serving only half of his ten-year sentence, that vigilante mobs would react.
His attack on a 19-year-old at Rosslyn Chapel in 2005 was described by a judge as the worst case of rape he had ever seen.
Today, Midlothian South councillor Jim Muirhead said: “I think every community in Midlothian has had rumours going around like this.
“When people are released from prison they have to go somewhere and I would urge people to stay calm.
“We can’t have a situation where people take to the street every time one of these rumours surfaces.
“The police and local authority are here to keep people safe and they have to be trusted to do that.”
The protest comes two weeks after more than 100 people marched on Midlothian Council’s head office, brandishing placards with phrases such as “Get rapist out”.
One resident in Loanhead, 38-year-old Jeanette Findlay, was reported as saying: “I have got a 19-year-old daughter who comes to visit. She’s the same age as the lassie he attacked.
“What’s to stop him doing it to someone else?”
Another local, Kathy McLaren, 54, was reported as saying: “I want him out. Filth like that shouldn’t be on the streets.”
Neither police nor the local authority have said whether or not he was in the accommodation at the time, though officers on the scene yesterday insisted he was not.
Residents also used the protest as an opportunity to criticise Midlothian Council for housing criminals in communities.
64-year-old Martha Horsburgh said: “The council use us as a dumping ground. Send him back where he came from.”
Last month Greens had to be rehoused after being driven from his home in Dalkeith.