Leader: Releasing DaVinci rapist Robert Greens early was madness

The decision to move rapist Robert Greens back to Midlothian is one that will satisfy no one. Certainly the local community is horrified that one of Scotland’s most dangerous sex offenders is once again living in their midst – and only a few miles from where he committed the attack on a defenceless student.

It certainly cannot be of any comfort to his victim that he is back living in an area he knows well.

But there also has to be some sympathy for Lothian and Borders Police and Midlothian Council who have been left to deal with an almost impossible situation.

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No matter where Greens is placed there is bound to be an uproar. What family wants to have a sex predator living close by, even one under regular monitoring? This is a man still considered so dangerous that police knocked on the doors of his new neighbours to inform them not to be alone with him at any time before passing on a pre-printed list of telephone numbers for help and advice.

The real question here is whether justice was served by Greens’ sentence. Should he not be in prison? Is that not to safest place for society to have him?

Greens was sentenced to ten years in jail in 2005 for this most horrific and violent crime. Yet for the last 12 months the residents and officials of Edinburgh and Midlothian have been trying to come to terms with what to do with him.

Releasing someone early from a ten year sentence is madness. Automatic early release is a confusing system for the public and justice is rarely seen to be done.

Releasing someone who is still a danger to the public was the mistake here. Using sexual offences preventions orders, the justice system has the ability to continue to detain those still considered a risk. It should have been used here.

Leaves a bad taste

first we were stunned by the £5 fish supper, then the £1.50 litre of petrol – now we have a new measure of how the cost of living has risen in Edinburgh, the price of a packet of crisps.

How much would you expect to pay for a bag in your local pub? 50p perhaps? Maybe 60p? Or possibly even 70p for one of those upmarket “gourmet” brands?

But we found one bar charging £1.35 for a standard-size packet and another charging £1.50 – that must be around 6p per crisp.

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We’re used to adding a bag of crisps to a round of drinks without giving it a second thought, but now we’ll all be thinking twice.

Six pence for a crisp? It’s a sure sign that the credit crunch is biting.