Protesters’ relief as Da Vinci rapist restrictions retained
DA Vinci rapist protesters have welcomed the passing of a temporary order which will allow police to continue their “robust” monitoring of sex offender Robert Greens.
Sheriff Isabella McColl passed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (Sopo) which permits Lothian and Borders officers to control the 34-year old’s movements at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
Police have sought the order because they fear that Greens, who was jailed in 2005 for raping a Dutch student at Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian, poses a threat to public safety.
The Sopo grants police the opportunity to constantly monitor him – something which they say will stop him from committing more offences.
It is feared that without the order, visitors could come into the secluded cottage and fall victim to a sexual assault.
Officers also fear that he could leave his home and travel to locations in Midlothian and Scotland.
However, Greens’ solicitor, Tony Kelly, believes that the order contravenes his human rights.
Lothian and Borders Detective Superintendent Alan Crawford has previously stated how the Sopo order allowed them to keep Greens under control.
He added: “We want to assure the public that robust procedures are in place to manage his 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. He is subject to monitoring and is electronically tagged, which restricts his movements.”
Campaign leader Sharon O’Donnell was joined in court by several of her fellow protesters to hear the news. She said: “I’m really happy to hear that his restrictions will remain in place. We are not going to go away and just let this drop, we intend to continue with our protest until he is removed from the community.
“He is a dangerous sex offender as shown by the police asking to have this order imposed.”
Sheriff McColl yesterday granted the order until a further court hearing which will take place on October 25.
Proceedings on that day have been arranged so that legal teams for the police and Greens can tell the court about their progress in preparing their cases for another hearing which is expected to take place in November 2012, at which it will be decided whether the Sopo order should be granted on a permanent basis.
At a previous court date in July police revealed they had talked Greens out of committing another offence, as pressure from campaigners was said to have left him “enraged”.
The campaign to have Greens rehoused away from Midlothian has so far attracted more than 14,000 supporters online, and a small group has kept a constant watch on Greens’ house in Bonnyrigg.
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