Police hunt knife thug released from jail in paperwork blunder
An "extremely dangerous" prisoner is being hunted by police after a clerical error meant he was released from jail months into a nine-year sentence.
Ralston Dodd, 25, was jailed in November after he admitted stabbing a man three times in the back following an argument on a north London street.
The attack, described as an "appalling act of violence" by police, left the victim fighting for his life and an extensive manhunt was launched to track Dodd down.
Now police have been forced to launch a second search for the violent offender, after he was released from prison in error as a result of a court incorrectly recording his sentence.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said it was urgently investigating the incident and a warrant for Dodd's arrest had been issued.
The thug attacked a 21-year-old man with a knife in Laycock Street, Islington on September 18 last year before going on the run.
He was arrested on October 11 and was sentenced to nine years' imprisonment at Blackfriars Crown Court on November 11 after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
At the time Metropolitan Police detective inspector Will Lexton-Jones said: "(The investigation has) ultimately led to an extremely dangerous offender being jailed.
"This was an appalling act of violence that almost cost a man his life. The seriousness of this offence is reflected in the extensive prison sentence."
According to The Sun, Dodd was being held in custody at HMP Thameside in south-east London before his release.
He was reportedly later spotted in a car by his victim, who had made a full recovery despite his terrible injuries.
The victim's father told the newspaper: "This is an unacceptable blunder by them. He got nine years for stabbing my son three times.
"He could have died. I held my son and thought he was going to die.
"How can this happen without anyone noticing?"
An MoJ spokeswoman said such 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," she said.
"Public protection is our priority. A warrant has been issued and police are pursuing the offender."
A Scotland Yard spokesman said officers in Islington wished to trace a man "for being unlawfully at large" and a warrant was obtained at Blackfriars Crown Court on June 23.
Anyone who may know Dodd's whereabouts is asked to call Islington police via 101.