Prisoner released three weeks early from HMP Norwich by mistake

PUBLISHED: 18:09 06 February 2017 | UPDATED: 08:09 07 February 2017

A prisoner on a landing at Norwich Prison; Photo: Bill Smith

A prisoner on a landing at Norwich Prison; Photo: Bill Smith

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An inmate who was released from Norwich Prison three weeks early by mistake has been asked to hand himself back in, it has emerged.

The 22-year-old, who did not want to be named, had served more than half of his 30 month sentence before he was released from HMP Norwich - where he been moved to last month following riots inside HMP Birmingham.

Speaking to the Birmingham Mail newspaper the burglar who would “probably hand himself back in after the weekend” said he had only been told there had been a “paperwork error” following a visit from police earlier this month who told him to hand himself in as soon as possible.

The Ministry of Justice has admitted the mistake, but has not given any further details refused to explain how it happened.

A spokesman said: “These incidents are rare and in the vast majority of cases, offenders are returned to custody very quickly.

“We work closely with the police to recapture those at large and investigate each incident thoroughly to see what lessons can be learned.”

The prisoner, who had been at HMP Norwich since December, said he was released on January 13 and “thought that was it”.

He said: “It was my conditional release date and I have had no other outstanding charges or issues whilst inside.

“But I had a knock at the door a few days ago from police. They said there had been some kind of paperwork error and I needed to hand myself back in as soon as possible.

“I couldn’t believe it. I just don’t understand why it has taken them two weeks to do this. I could have been inside for killing somebody and it would have taken them nearly three weeks to realise they should not have let me out.

“I have settled back down, I am back with my family and I’m trying to get my life back on track, so I don’t know how or why this has happened.”

The prisoner was inside HMP Birmingham before the riots broke out last month.

He was amongst the third of HMP Birmingham’s inmates that were shipped out to other prisons in the wake of the trouble, which was the worst since the infamous Strangeways Prison riot in 1990.

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