Police appeal to find prisoner convicted of assault and burglary after he was released ‘by mistake’
A prisoner serving a sentence for assault and burglary has been on the run for two weeks after being released from a London jail in “error”.
Rayon Newby, 20, was released from HMP Thameside on Friday 17 March before completing his sentence for assault, harassment and burglary. Newby, from east London, has links to Tower Hamlets and Ilford.
Police have launched an appeal to find the 20-year-old and urged members of the public not to approach him.
Newby is around 5ft 10 tall and of heavy build. He has a pierced left ear and speaks with a London accent.
HMP Thameside is a Category B prison in the southeast London borough of Greenwich.
The prison is run by Serco, the outsourcing company, and is located near Isis and Category A Belmarsh prison, which houses some of the country’s most notorious criminals.
Secro has been contacted for comment. The firm is a British multinational defence, justice and immigration services company that runs several government services.
The company has been embroiled in a series of scandals over the years.
In 2019, Serco was fined nearly £23m as part of a settlement with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over electronic tagging contracts. In 2013 it paid a £70m settlement to the Ministry of Justice after the firm and fellow outsourcing group G4S faced allegations of charging for tagging people who were either dead, in jail, or had left the country.
A prisoner is released in error if they are wrongly discharged from a prison or court when they should have remained in custody and had no intent of escaping. There were 54 such cases across the UK in 2021-22.
Anyone who has information about Newby’s whereabouts is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference CAD 3195/30Mar.
Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.