A prisoner who was accidentally released from HMP Hewell probably couldn’t believe his luck how it happened in the first place, and when you find out, neither will you.
Anthony Douglas is a British prisoner in his 20s who has previously served time at high-security psychiatric hospital Ashworth.
The Daily Mail reported that it’s not yet been officially revealed what Douglas was convicted of, or how much time the prisoner has yet to serve on his sentence.
However, what has been revealed in stunning Technicolor is the fact that Douglas was “accidentally” granted his liberty when he was a prisoner who should have been safely under lock and key.
And just how did this travesty of justice occur? Well that’s the craziest part of all. The prisoner in question was mistakenly freed because Anthony Douglas just happened to share the same surname with another prisoner who was eligible for release that very day.
Now you could call this little mix-up, bad-timing, a simple twist of fate, or if you were being charitable, you could even call it serendipity, yet most people would probably describe the accidental release of a prisoner as a major league slice of sheer stupidity.
Yet HMP Hewell has something of a track record and poor reputation when it comes to keeping their prisoners securely shut down and away from the general public.
Last October, 56-year-old murderer Alan Giles, who received two life sentences for kidnapping and killing 16-year-old student Kevin Ricketts, escaped from HMP Hewell after enjoying a spell of day release work at a charity shop.
After nine days on the run, the police finally caught up with Giles and he was sentenced to a further six months for “escaping from lawful custody.”
Likewise, Douglas has also been returned to HMP Hewell after being accidentally released and remaining at large for one whole day before police officers caught up with him.
A Prison Service spokesman said:
“A prisoner from Hewell was released in error on July 2. The police were notified immediately and he was recaptured on July 3. An investigation by a senior governor has been launched. We take public protection extremely seriously and this type of incident is a very rare but regrettable occurrence.”
A senior member of staff has been suspended following the accidental release of the prisoner.
Since 2010, 18 convicts have absconded from UK prisons, but the Prison Service refuses to reveal their identities, suggesting it does not believe the information to be of public interest.