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Another prisoner is freed in error

Justice Minister David Ford has ordered the Prison Service to carry out an immediate investigation into how a prisoner was released in error from Maghaberry Prison.

George Damien MacFerran (47) was released from custody on Friday, despite still having six weeks left to serve on his sentence for assault with an offensive weapon.

He was apprehended by the PSNI yesterday afternoon and has been returned to Maghaberry.

The Prison Service became aware of the erroneous release yesterday afternoon and informed the minister.

Mr Ford said: "I am appalled that, yet again, a prisoner has been released in error from Maghaberry prison.

"I have had an initial briefing on this incident and have directed that a thorough investigation be launched immediately.

"I want to know exactly how this has happened and how it took two days for the error to come to light. If it turns out that individuals are to blame the director general has assured me that appropriate action will be taken."

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