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Police hunt for ‘dangerous’ attacker freed in court error

Prisoner accidentally released in court blunder

10 July, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Freed: Ralston Dodd

POLICE have launched a manhunt for an “extremely dangerous” knife attacker who was left free to roam Islington after a court error saw him released early from prison, writes Emily Finch.

Ralston Dodd, 25, went on the run after he knifed Jerrell Holland multiple times following an argument in Laycock Street last September. The attack left the 21- year-old fighting for his life.

Dodd of Britannia Row, off Essex Road, was sentenced to nine years in jail at Blackfriars Crown Court on November 11 after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm. But he spent only nine months of his sentence behind bars. The Ministry of Justice blamed an incorrectly recorded sentence at the court for his early release.

The police notified the public about Dodd’s release on Tuesday – 11 days after they obtained a warrant for his re-arrest at Blackfriars Crown Court.

Following Dodd’s conviction last November, Detective Inspector Will Lexton- Jones, of Islington Gangs Unit, said: “This was an appalling act of violence that almost cost a man his life. The seriousness of this offence is reflected in the prison sentence.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “Releases in error are extremely rare but we take any case very seriously. We are urgently investigating so we learn the lessons to prevent it happening again.”

The police advise the public not to approach Dodd as “he could become violent” and instead to call 999 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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