Northern Ireland

Mistakenly released prisoner caught

Laganside courthouse
Image caption Sean Gerard Cahill was mistakenly released from Laganside Courts

A prisoner who was released by mistake last year is back in custody after being caught by the police.

Twenty-six-year old Sean Gerard Cahill from Springhill Gardens in Belfast was released from Laganside Courts on 24 November even though he still faced charges of robbery and car theft.

He then failed to turn up for his next court hearing at Lisburn Magistrates' Court the following Tuesday.

Cahill was the third prisoner released in error from prison within two months.

The errors led to calls for Justice Minister David Ford to "consider his position".

Cahill was convicted and sentenced to one month imprisonment on a charge of aggravated vehicle-taking.

He was released at that point due to the time that he had spent on remand awaiting trial.

However, instead of being released, he should have been returned to custody to await another hearing in relation to charges of robbery, possession of an offensive weapon and taking a vehicle without the owner's consent.

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