Murder suspect hands himself in after being freed by mistake

A man charged with murder who was released from prison by mistake has handed himself in.

A MAN charged with murder who was released from prison by mistake has handed himself in.

Jason Bethell, 31, of Broadway, Jaywick, handed himself in at Clacton police station at 11pm.

He was being held on remand at Chelmsford prison since November 9 after being charged with the murder of John Smith.

Mr Smith, 58, also from Jaywick, was stabbed in the town on July 11 and died in hospital on September 18.


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Bethell is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on February 1, 2010, but was released from jail on Monday.

A widespread search was launched after police learnt of his release on Tuesday morning and appeals were made for Bethell to hand himself in.

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An internal investigation has been launched into the mistaken release and a spokesman for the Prisons Service said there were 'robust procedures' in place to deal with such situations.

He said: “The police were informed as soon as we became aware of the error and we are working with them to return this individual to custody as quickly as possible.

“Ministers and the Prison Service take this sort of incident very seriously.”

Jo.thewlis@eadt.co.uk

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