Nurses' anger as serial sex offender pensioner freed into care

A serial sex offender who raped a woman and sexually assaulted four young girls over 40 years has been released from prison to be cared for at a hospice.

Robert Clyde. Picture: Lesley Donald

Robert Clyde, 73, is being guarded around-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, Edinburgh.

A whistleblower contacted The Scotsman to say some staff were refusing to enter the predator’s room and nurses are up in arms that they have been put in a position where they have to treat him to maintain the integrity of their profession. Housekeeping staff were told his name, “not to Google him” and to treat him with “respect” when he arrived with G4S security guards on 23 August from Saughton prison. However, the nurses were not told anything.

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Clyde, originally from Ireland, was living in Niddrie in Edinburgh when he was caught by police in 2013 after repeatedly raping a woman over two days at his home.

Police uncovered evidence that he began molesting the youngsters in 1970. They also discovered that he assaulted two boys – one aged just four – for a period of 16 years. He was convicted of 13 charges and jailed for nine years.

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

The source said: “None of the staff knew about his past. 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 now been given a 
private room on the ground floor with two guards doing 12-hour shifts then another two come six till six.”

Marie Curie said 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.

The hospice gets 40 per cent funding from NHS Lothian.

Margaret Watt of Scotland Patients Association said: “He should still be in jail and he should die in jail. You don’t put him into a place where he has the potential to offend again – that is obscene.”

Shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said: “It’s a difficult situation for Marie Curie.

“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.”