A CONVICTED criminal, who was released from prison in error, was re-arrested just three days later wielding a meat cleaver in a busy public street.
Gerry Teelan (23), with an address in Dundalk, Co Louth, was given two separate prison sentences – one of two months and one for nine months – on October 9 for driving offences and criminal damage respectively.
Teelan had previously been held in remand and his two-month sentence, which was backdated, finished just two days after the sentence had been given.
Following what the Irish Prison Service has described as "an administrative mistake caused by human error", Teelan was released on October 11 despite the fact he should have remained in prison to serve the remainder of his nine-month prison sentence.
Three days after his release Teelan was arrested after gardai discovered him wielding a meat cleaver in Dundalk. Arresting officers used pepper spray to detain him after he refused to drop the weapon.
A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service confirmed last night that a prisoner was released from Wheatfield Prison in error due to an administrative mistake caused by human error on October 11.
"The error was discovered by prison staff but at that stage the prisoner had been released.
"Gardai were immediately informed that the prisoner was unlawfully at large. On October 15, 2013, the prisoner was returned to custody in Wheatfield prison by gardai," the spokesman said.
A garda spokesperson said a file was being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecution following an attempted robbery of a shop in Jocelyn Street in Dundalk with a large knife or meat cleaver.