Belfast Telegraph

Man released from prison in error

A probe is under way after a prisoner was released in error.

Sean Gerard Cahill was convicted of aggravated vehicle taking at Belfast's Laganside Courts last Wednesday and sentenced to a month's imprisonment.

He was released because of the time he spent on remand awaiting trial but should have been returned to custody to face charges of robbery, possession of an offensive weapon and taking a vehicle without the owner's consent.

Justice Minister David Ford said: "I have demanded that a disciplinary investigation be launched immediately into this most serious matter. It is vital that we urgently find out why this has happened and if individuals are to blame I will move swiftly to take the appropriate action."

This is the third time within months that a prisoner has been released in error.

Meanwhile, a prisoner who was wrongly released after appearing in court in Downpatrick in October has been arrested.

Connelly James Cummins, 25, was detained by police in the Elgin Street area of south Belfast.

Cummins had been due to stand trial for theft, aggravated vehicle taking and using a vehicle without insurance. He was released in error at Downpatrick Magistrates' Court on October 1, even though his file was marked "hold" as he still faced other charges.

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