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Saturday, July 10, 1999 Published at 23:37 GMT 00:37 UK


Tag for freed Alford

John Alford: Lured to London hotel

Former London's Burning actor John Alford will be released from prison next week after agreeing to wear an electronic tag.

Alford, 27, was jailed for nine months in May for supplying cocaine and cannabis.

But the actor will be released from Pentonville prison in north London in the next few days under the early release scheme.

Inmates who have less than three months of their sentence left to serve qualify for tagging - part of the government's aim to reduce overcrowding in British jails.

Arabian prince

Alford will be one of the first 6,000 prisoners to use the surveillance system since it was set up in January.

He began his acting career at the age of 11 as the classroom rebel Robbie Wright in the children's BBC programme Grange Hill.

In August 1997 he was lured to the Savoy Hotel in central London by a journalist posing as an Arabian prince, and secretly filmed supplying cocaine and cannabis.

Alford, of Hadley Wood, Hertfordshire, was sacked from his £75,000-a-year role as Billy Ray in the ITV drama series after the story emerged.

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