48 HOURS

his arrived Friday evening from the supporter who drove him home Wednesday evening:
It is Friday and Robert has been free for a little over 48 hours. I meant to pen a few lines earlier but couldn’t. As a reaction to the joy of the day on Wednesday and to the long fight that preceded it I have felt wiped out. I can’t imagine how Robert is feeling. 
Wednesday, now that was a day to remember. Robert called about three with the news that he had just been informed he was being released. Release from HMP Perth is not through the  formal reception, nor through any human sized door, but through the huge vehicle doors that also serve to allow vans and lorries to enter the  prison complex. There are two sets of doors (inner and outer)and a covered roadway between, patrolled by a warder armed with a clipboard. The doors, being mechanically operated give a little clunk and a whir just before springing apart; so you get a warning, just to heighten the drama. As they open, you don’t know what you are going to get – a laundry van, G4S van, or a dazed looking hero. Sort of a giant lucky-bag. The second opening yielded Robert into the sun.
He was clearly very emotional as he walked back to the world. His departure from HMP Perth had been a memorable one. As the news had reached him during a period when the inmates are all free to circulate within the block and not confined to their individual cells, his fellow prisoners were able to create an appropriate send-off. This comprised lining the walkways around the cellblock , and cheering, shouting congratulations, singing, making as much noise as possible. Our gentle hero was moved to tears. As he waited for the big doors to open, the prison chaplain ran across the courtyards to wish him well. Then out, free, back to the world.
He was arrested in February, when Britain, and particularly Scotland still has nature closed for the winter, trees are bare, skies are grey. Robert had seen nothing natural except in the far distance for 96 days. He stepped out into beautiful late May sunshine, with fresh green leaves everywhere. He found it difficult to believe. The closest he could get to explaining the feeling was like regaining one’s sight after a long time in darkness.
After a quick call to his family “I’m out!” off we went. The transport was an open top MG sportscar, this was laid on because even at the best of times it make its passengers feel free – perhaps this was a bit much (I’m new to this and didn’t credit how much of a shock just walking past a tree would be), but Robert didn’t complain. A warm bath and a cold beer later, he was ready to be the life and soul of the party by the time a Champagne-wielding supporter arrived from distant parts (having left the instant Robert was free).
The journey south was a relaxed affair, full of laughter, stories both odd and old. There were a few poignant moments such as when we passed Dunblane, about which much remains to be told. We talked of family and music and the things in life that make it all worthwhile. Those things for Robert include the courage of a lassie born in Aberdeenshire called Hollie.
Robert was greeted by his son when he returned to his snug little terraced house beside a Cheshire canal. As he entered he described how the police had lain in wait for him almost 100 days before.
Later, heading home amongst the lorries with Thistle logos and Scottish town names emblazoned on them, I could feel more optimism about the land of my birth than I could muster these last months. Whatever else is wrong, ROBERT GREEN IS FREE! His example has given me and others the determination to fight for justice, for liberty, and for those who cannot fight for themselves.
Good night all, and thank God for Robert Green

8 thoughts on “‘Robert Green is Free’ 48 hours later

  1. Thank you for the wonderful scene setting to describe citizen champion Robert Green’s release.
    He is a great example to us all.
  2. Thank you for this update it brought a tear to my eye …
    The main thing now is to keep Robert Free and with his loved ones who must be bursting with Pride …
  3. received this correspondence from Alison Craig, SLAB
    I refer to your recent communication sent to us with regard to Mr Robert Green.
    Any request for the appointment of senior and junior counsel is a matter between Mr Green’s solicitor and the Scottish Legal Aid Board and requires the solicitor to explain why the appointment of counsel is appropriate. We are not able to consider representations made by third parties.
    Yours sincerely,
    Alison M Craig
    Team Leader
    Criminal Applications

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