HMP Hewell prisoner 'freed by mistake'

HMP Hewell prison gate The prison service said Douglas had been returned to jail

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A prisoner was freed in error because he had the same surname as a convict due for release, it has emerged.

Anthony Douglas was released from HMP Hewell, near Redditch, on Wednesday instead of another offender who had completed his sentence.

Douglas, in his 20s and originally from Burton upon Trent, was arrested on Thursday after police were notified of the mistake. He is now back in jail.

The Prison Service said it had started an investigation.

"We take public protection extremely seriously and this type of incident is a very rare but regrettable occurrence," a spokesperson said.

The Ministry of Justice refused to confirm how long Douglas had left to serve on his sentence, or the details of his conviction.

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