A CONVICTED rapist who targeted sheltered housing for the elderly in Greenock should be turfed out of his home near the complex, a councillor has declared.

Social housing bosses are under pressure to find serial criminal Paul Dowds a new tenancy now that he is back in town following his release from prison.

Councillor Colin Jackson says worried residents at Carwood Court are living in fear of the convicted sex offender, who has a flat on nearby Weir Street.

Mr Jackson said: "I have been contacted by residents who are concerned about this convicted violent rapist returning to reside within walking distance of Carwood Court.

"It is very alarming for these people to know that this offender is back within the community."

The Telegraph reported last month how Dowds, 44, and his half-brother Kevin Johnston, 39, were caught trying the doors of flats within Carwood Court at night — including that of an 83-year-old resident.

Greenock Sheriff Court court heard how the elderly man was 'fearful' that an intruder was trying to break in to his home when he heard his the handle of his locked front door being moved.

Dowds — who was jailed for seven years for rape in 2007 — and Johnston were spotted creeping around the corridors of Carwood Court at midnight on May 31.

The pair pleaded guilty to a charge of being unlawfully within the building so that it may be reasonably inferred they intended to commit theft.

Despite receiving three-month prison sentences, they were released from custody around a week later due to the time they had already spent on remand.

Councillor Jackson — who has written to Dowds' landlord, River Clyde Homes — said: "You've got a violent criminal and sex offender who got into elderly and vulnerable people's property at night, and now he's been released.

"When would these people have found out about his release? When he walked by their windows? By seeing him in a shop?"

Councillor Jackson, who sits on the committee which scrutinises local policing, added: "I received a reply from River Clyde Homes, saying the matter does not affect his tenancy.

"I would say that the victims of his crime are more important than him.

"I would like to think that River Clyde Homes would seek to rehouse him and keep him monitored in some way.

"Their responsibility is to the victims, not the criminal.

"He's not a first offender; he has a history of violence, and who is to say what he could have done at Carwood Court."

A spokesman for River Clyde Homes today declined to respond.

He said: "Unfortunately we are unable to comment publicly on this matter."