A serial rapist was forced into hiding after being driven out of his home by neighbors in Scotland who surrounded him and chased him away.
John Locke was released from prison a few months ago after serving 10 of the 15 years he was sentenced to for the rape of a 15-year-old girl in Inverness, Scotland, reports Metro. He had previously been convicted in 1988 for the rape of a 16-year-old girl, and in 1983 for another rape.
Around 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 23, a crowd of 70 concerned neighbors in Aviemore, Scotland, surrounded Locke’s home and refused to move until police came and took him away, reports the Mirror.
Neighbors were alerted to his past after seeing him being dropped off at his house in a police van on several occasions. Locke would often be escorted into the home by officers.
“It really shocked me that they would think this would go unnoticed. I’m really shocked that they thought this was going to be accepted,” neighbor Sam Wilson said. “I think they thought we were just going to roll over. It’s so close back to where he last struck. Why up here? It does scare us.”
Soon, residents began piecing details together and came to the realization that Locke had been released from prison following his rape convictions.
“Alarm bells started ringing at the fact that somebody had moved in next door who had been released from prison,” neighbor Natacha Flamand said.
“He was removed for his own safety, not for ours. When he got in the back of the police van he was sat smirking. There was no chanting, no singing. They were waiting for the police to remove him.”
“They shouted quite a bit of abuse at him as he was escorted out of the house,” she added.
Locke was moved to an undisclosed location following the incident.
“Police Scotland works in partnership with a number of agencies through (Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements) to ensure all registered sex offenders are robustly managed within the community” a police representative said.
“While we can never eliminate risk entirely, we want to reassure communities that all reasonable steps are being taken to protect them."