By Cara Sulieman, Paul Thornton and Shaun Milne
HATED former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin has had his plush Edinburgh mansion trashed by vandals.
A prized Mercedes S600 parked in the grounds was also badly damaged in the dawn attack – just 24-hrs after it was revealed his former employers still pick up the tab for insuring his fleet of luxury motors.
The reclusive former banking chief – who has barely been seen in public in recent weeks – owns two homes next to each other on leafy Oswald Road surrounded by a wrought iron fence and electric gates.
Lothian and Borders Police were called out to the property around 4.30am and immediately posted two officers outside the properties.
Shortly after 9am a team of crime scene investigators dressed in dark water proof clothing showed up carrying black brief cases containing specialist equipment and immediately began examining the scene.
They could be seen first looking at three broken doubled-glazed sash style bay windows on the ground floor of the sandstone property, one of which had been struck with such force that both double panes of glass had been punctured.
One of the investigating team then turned his attention to the Mercedes car complete with a personalised number plate which appeared to have had its back window shattered along with the nearside passenger side window.
He could later be seen to rummage about in nearby foliage and ground covering adjacent to the vehicle looking for clues.
They also took a series of photographs.
It was unclear who had reported the incident or whether the Goodwin family had been home at the time of the attack, although one source added: “We don’t think anyone is there at the moment.”
Police probe into vandalism
Lothian and Borders Police confirmed they had been called but were willing to offer only limited detail.
A police spokeswoman said: “We can confirm we attended at an address in Oswald Road at 4.35am. Inquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the police.”
By mid-morning a huge media scrum had gathered outside the two properties such has been the interest in Goodwin since it was revealed
One neighbour who lives across the street, but who asked not to be named, said: “I didn’t hear anything.
“The first I knew of it was when I was shaving this morning and heard it on the radio.
“I came out to make sure that my house wasn’t damaged too. Luckily we were fine.
“I have been expecting something like this to happen for a while now, so I’m not surprised.”“From time to time we would see the Goodwin family together but he never spoke to us.
“I haven’t seen him for a while.
“There is nothing personal about it really. He’s just the one people have decided to blame.”
A group calling itself ‘Bank Bosses Are Criminals’ claimed responsibility for the attack by email.
A message sent from email address [email protected], read:
“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.
“This is a crime. Bank bosses should be jailed.
“This is just the beginning.”
Prime Minister Gordon Brown later issued a statement condemning the attack.
Mr Brown – who has been a critic of the banker’s decision to retain his full pension rights – said: “On the specific question of damage to his property, there can be no excuse for people breaking the law.”
Goodwin owns two properties in the street, the larger a Victorian sandstone building partly neighboured by a dead end street, and a smaller property next door protected by six-foot high wrought iron gates across the driveway.
The larger of the two, however, can be accessed by a simple push gate and any intruder would have been partially shielded from view by a selection of well manicured bushes.
Whoever was behind the attack would have had to cover only a few metres to reach the windows, but face a tougher job launching their assault over the fence against the Mercedes.
Insurance for exclusive motor fleet
Just 24-hours earlier it had been revealed that Goodwin is still receiving staff rate insurance to cover his £500,000 fleet of cars despite walking off with a massive £16m pension.
And the bank is even putting together a deal to slice off £1000 of Goodwin’s £6000 premium renewal – but has yet to formalise the deal and is still insuring his fleet of seven luxury motors under an employee scheme.
Sir Fred, 50, who was forced to resign last October after overseeing the largest banking loss in corporate history, has accumulated two Ferrari’s, a Range Rover Vogue, a Rover 45, a Jaguar S-Type, his pride and joy, a Triumph Stag, and the Mercedes damaged yesterday.
One bank source said: “He presided over disaster at RBS – they should tell him to find another insurer.”
Under Sir Fred’s leadership RBS lost £24.1 billion and was only rescued after a bailout by the taxpayer.
RBS, who owns insurance companies Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege, may offer to insure the fleet of cars collectively instead of individually.
Vince Cable, the Lib-Dem Treasury spokesman, said the insurance policy was “one of many loose ends left over from his days of extravagance”.
He said: “People will be shocked that, after dragging down the bank, he is getting such treatment.”
But RBS have insisted: “The premium Sir Fred Goodwin pays for his insurance does not include any staff discount.”
Sir Fred is also under-fire for spending a fortune on expensive wallpaper and carpets during his time as head of the bank.
Sir Fred’s expensive tastes
Wallpaper costing £1000 per roll was allegedly used to decorate the lobby outside Sir Fred’s office after a small stain was spotted on one wall.
And it has also been claimed two huge RBS boardrooms were re-carpeted twice, at a cost of £100 per square yard, because Sir Fred did not like the colour.
Other allegations recently leveled against the beleaguered banker include splashing out £100,000-a-month on part-time chauffeurs and having fruit specially flown in from Paris.
And it has also been revealed that the reviled banking boss has just opened an account at a private bank reserved for the super-rich.
Prestigious bank Adam & Company, which is based in Edinburgh’s exclusive Charlotte Square, claims to deliver a personal service to clients with “complex financial affairs”.
The exclusive bank, who have offices in Edinburgh, London and Guernsey, were bought over by RBS in 1993, but operate as a private bank with RBS as the parent company.