‘Clerical error’ knocks more than eight years off knifeman’s sentence

A Ministry of Justice (MoJ) investigation has been launched after court staff mistakenly handed a knifeman’s “appalling act of violence” a sentence in months instead of years.

Jul 10, 2017

A Ministry of Justice (MoJ) investigation has been launched after court staff mistakenly handed a knifeman’s “appalling act of violence” a sentence in months instead of years. Ralston Dodd, 25, was jailed for nine years last November for grevious bodily harm after admitting to stabbing Jerrell Holland three times in the back following an argument in north London. But Mr Holland was left shocked after spotting his assailant “walking free” a few weeks ago. The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is conducting an urgent search after obtaining an arrest warrant from Blackfriars Crown Court for Dodd being “unlawfully at large”. Dodd attacked 21-year-old Mr Holland with a knife in Laycock Street, Islington in September 2016 before going on the run. He was arrested a month later. At his trial, it is believed Crown Court staff misheard the judge’s sentence and filled out prison forms for a nine-month jail term. At the time Dodd was sent to HMP Thameside in south-east London to begin his nine-year sentence, MPS 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.” The MoJ said ‘releases in error’ are “extremely rare”, adding: “But we take any case very seriously. “We are urgently investigating so we learn the lessons to prevent it happening again. “Public protection is our priority. A warrant has been issued and police are pursuing the offender.”

Related News

Select Vacancies

Chief Inspector

Nottinghamshire Police

Promotion to Sergeant

Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Alliance

Copyright © 2021 Police Professional