Northern Ireland news

Video: 'Dangerous' suspected killer released from Maghaberry Prison in error

Michael Smith was last seen in Belfast on Tuesday 

A "dangerous" man accused of murder and with an extensive history of violence has been released from prison by mistake.

Michael Lawrence Smith (38) who is currently on remand for murder was "erroneously" released from Maghaberry Prison on Tuesday, police said.

Smith is described as being of medium build, 1.87metres tall and weighing 106kg with brown eyes and brown hair. Distinguishing marks include scars on his arms, shoulders, head, neck and right cheek.

Detective Superintendent Kevin Geddes said the last known sighting of Smith was in the Finaghy area on the outskirts of Belfast at around 12.30pm on Tuesday.

“Michael Smith, who is deemed as dangerous... has an extensive history of violence and I would urge the public not to approach him but contact police immediately.

“I would ask Mr Smith to hand himself in to the authorities without any further delay and ask anyone who knows of his current whereabouts or who has any information to contact police on 999.”

In a statement, the Department of Justice said: "The matters surrounding the erroneous release of Michael Lawrence Smith are currently under investigation. The Prison Service would urge anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact the police immediately."

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