Warning after Goodwin's home attacked

By Louise Hosie,Joe Quinn,Press Association
Wednesday 25 March 2009 14:30

An emailed statement warned today of further attacks on bankers after the home of former RBS boss Sir Fred Goodwin was damaged by vandals.

Windows were smashed at the former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive's house in Edinburgh overnight.

The windows of a Mercedes S600, parked in the driveway, were also smashed.

A statement issued to media organisations shortly after the attack on Sir Fred's house said: "We are angry that rich people, like him, are paying themselves a huge amount of money and living in luxury, while ordinary people are made unemployed, destitute and homeless.

"Bank bosses should be jailed. This is just the beginning."

The email, sent in the early hours of the morning to a number of outlets including the Press Association, came from the address bankbossesarecriminalsmail.com (which is not a functioning website address).

No group was named in the message and it did not explicitly claim responsibility for the attack.

There was a notable police presence this morning at Sir Fred's home in the upmarket Morningside area of the city.

A police car with two uniformed officers stood guard outside.

Scenes of crime specialists were inspecting the damage to the ground-floor windows and the car.

They were later joined by two CID officers, and a man arrived to measure the broken double-glazed windows.

Sir Fred - dubbed "Fred the Shred" for his ruthless cost-cutting - has been at the centre of controversy over his £700,000-a-year pension.

He took early retirement after RBS almost collapsed as the credit crunch gripped markets.

It is not known if anyone was in the house at the time of the attack, or who reported the vandalism.

But it is thought that Sir Fred and his family have not been living in the house since the pension row erupted.

A spokesman for the banker said he will not be commenting on the attack.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokeswoman said: "We can confirm we attended at an address in Morningside around 4.35am today. Inquiries in relation to the incident are ongoing. We are appealing for witnesses."

It has been reported that RBS continued to pay for personal security for Sir Fred following his departure from the bank, including CCTV monitoring of his home.

An RBS spokesman said today: "We are aware of the incident but it is a matter for police. There are security arrangements in place for Sir Fred, as is normal practice for departing executives."

The car was later towed away from Sir Fred's home. The damage to the rear windscreen was clearly visible and there were smaller cracks on one of the side windows and front windscreen.

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "I'm surprised that nothing has happened sooner as there has been so much publicity.

"I feel sorry for his family but I think people's emotions are running very high in today's environment.

"Like it or not, we are in a blame society and are always looking for someone to blame."

Another neighbour said: "It is shocking, that is totally unnecessary - absolutely shocking. Nobody deserves that."

Asked if the Prime Minister had sympathy for Sir Fred, a No 10 spokesman said: "On the specific question of damage to his property, there can be no excuse for it at all."

Jim Monaghan, of Tommy Sheridan's Solidarity party, said: "I am not arguing it is right to do this but people are starting to pay the price for the mistakes of those like Sir Fred Goodwin. Anger is growing."

He also questioned whether the police presence would have been as heavy if the incident had happened in a less upmarket area.

"If you lived in a less affluent area, I think you may not have seen the police until later this week," he said.