20/10/2010

Freed Prisoner Held, But One Still Sought

A prisoner who was wrongly released after appearing in court in Downpatrick earlier this month has been re-arrested.

Connelly James Cummins, 25, was detained by police in the Elgin Street area of south Belfast on Tuesday morning.

He had been due to stand trial for theft, aggravated vehicle taking and using a vehicle without insurance. He was released even though his file was marked "hold" as he still faced other charges.

Yesterday, he was remanded in custody after appearing before Lisburn Magistrates Court.

However, an alleged rapist also mistakenly released by the prison service is still at large, the police have confirmed.
News Image
Devidas Paliutis, 27, who is originally from Lithuania, was released on 29 September after holding charges against him were withdrawn.

He was freed even though other charges had been substituted for these and he was to have gone on trial at the Crown Court.

While the Justice Minister David Ford (pictured) praised the PSNI for their efforts in returning the individual to custody, he has initiated an urgent inquiry into the mistakes with a report expected by the end of October.

After the prisoners walked free he insisted he had been assured by the Director General of the Prison Service that measures were in place to strengthen procedures at all prisons: "These include a strengthening of staff capability in this area, and improved communications from the video link facilities to the office which authorises discharge," he told the Stormont Assembly at the beginning of October.

(BMcC/GK)

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