Northern Ireland

Released rape accused Devidas Paliutis still at large

Devidas Paliutis
Image caption Devidas Paliutis, who is originally from Lithuania, is accused of rape

An alleged rapist mistakenly released by the prison service is still at large, the police have confirmed.

Devidas Paliutis, 27, who is originally from Lithuania, was released on 29 September after holding charges against him were withdrawn.

However, other charges had been substituted for these and he was to have gone on trial at the Crown Court.

Meanwhile, another prisoner released by mistake at the start of October has been arrested in south Belfast.

Connelly James Cummins, 25, was released after appearing in court in Downpatrick on 1 October even though his file was marked "hold" as he still faced charges including theft and aggravated vehicle-taking.

He was arrested in Elgin Street on Tuesday morning and later appeared before Lisburn Magistrates Court.

International investigation

Earlier, police said they were liaising with Interpol and police in the Republic in their search for Mr Paliutis.

The 27-year-old is also charged with unlawful and injurious imprisonment and theft.

He was released after appeared at Newry Magistrates Court via a video link from Maghaberry Prison.

He is described as being about 6ft tall, with brown eyes, brown hair and medium build, with a scar on his forehead and a pierced left ear.

The director general of the Prison Service Robin Masefield apologised for the release and Justice Minister David Ford has called for a fully inquiry into the circumstances which led to it.

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