Manhunt for accused sex offender released from prison by mistake

28 March 2021, 08:21

William Fernandez, 24, was being held on remand at HMP Wormwood Scrubs in west London while awaiting trial
William Fernandez, 24, was being held on remand at HMP Wormwood Scrubs in west London while awaiting trial. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

A manhunt has been launched for an alleged sex offender who was mistakenly released from prison.

William Fernandez, 24, was being held on remand at HMP Wormwood Scrubs in west London while awaiting trial.

Metropolitan Police said he was arrested and charged with sexual assault, indecent exposure and possession of a class B drug in April 2020.

On Wednesday, police were informed by staff at the prison that Fernandez had been released from custody in error.

Officers carried out searches at the prison and the local area, however it is believed that soon after being released Fernandez travelled by London Underground from East Acton station.

At around 9.30pm on Wednesday night, he was spotted on CCTV walking along Wealdstone High Street, Harrow, in north-west London.

At around 9.30pm on Wednesday night, he was spotted on CCTV walking along Wealdstone High Street, Harrow, in north-west London
At around 9.30pm on Wednesday night, he was spotted on CCTV walking along Wealdstone High Street, Harrow, in north-west London. Picture: PA

There have been no confirmed sightings of him since, Met Police said.

Prior to his arrest in 2020, Fernandez had no fixed address.

Officers believe he is most likely to be in the west London area, but has been known to travel on public transport and to spend time at transport hubs.

Detective Inspector Rory Wilkinson said: "Officers are exploring every possible line of enquiry to track Fernandez down and return him to prison.

"We would ask the public to assist us by being our eyes and ears and calling us if they see him or have any information about his whereabouts."

it is believed that soon after being released Fernandez travelled by London Underground from East Acton station
it is believed that soon after being released Fernandez travelled by London Underground from East Acton station. Picture: PA

Fernandez is described as white, of medium build, with thinning hair and a dark beard.

He has a distinctive cross tattoo on the left hand side of his neck. When last seen, he was wearing a black tracksuit and black hat.

He is also known to use the name Agustin Fernando Jimenez Eiberte.

Anyone with information are advised to call 999 immediately providing the reference 7873/24MAR.

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