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Last Updated: Friday, 15 June 2007, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Bailed sex offender goes missing
Prison officer locking a door in a jail
The Home Office opposed bail but was overruled
A sex offender facing possible deportation has gone missing after being freed on bail, it has emerged.

The 19-year-old was among 1,013 foreign prisoners mistakenly freed without being considered for deportation.

He was recaptured but vanished again after being granted bail by a court, against the wishes of the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA).

The teenager, convicted of indecently assaulting a girl under 16, was one of six serious criminals granted bail.

The other five remain in touch with the authorities. But another three offenders are still missing after being granted bail.

They are from a less serious category, but could still include people with convictions for violent crime or sex offences.

They were among 19 individuals granted bail by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.

They have not put their heads above the parapet which indicates they are probably no longer in the country
Lin Homer
Border and Immigration Agency

BIA chief executive Lin Homer said it was possible the offenders had left the country of their own volition.

"We are looking for them, the police are looking for them and we have used other people's information such as public sector data.

"They have not put their heads above the parapet which indicates they are probably no longer in the country."

Failures

Former Home Secretary Charles Clarke was sacked last year, after it emerged that 1,013 foreign prisoners had been released, without being considered for deportation.

Of those, 214 had since been removed from the UK, the BIA said, while 329 had been judged to have the right to stay in the UK.

A further 58 were in prison or on remand, and 263 were going through the deportation process.

The details came out as a BIA report revealed for the first time the failures which led to the foreign prisoners crisis last year - including too much focus on meeting Tony Blair's target for removing failed asylum seekers.

It said budget cuts had created a backlog of prisoners facing deportation.

But when 27 extra staff were finally hired they were only allowed to work on removing asylum seekers.

This meant other offenders continued to be freed without being considered for deportation.






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