HL Deb 17 July 1995 vol 566 cc7-8WA
Lord Harris of Greenwich

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What were the circumstances in which Mr. Barry Gray, extradited from France to face charges of obtaining money by deception and subsequently convicted and sentenced to a period of imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court, was mistakenly released from custody; and whether they will place the report of any inquiry in the Library of the House.

Baroness Blatch

Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord Harris of Greenwich from the Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Derek Lewis, dated 17 July 1995.

Lady Blatch has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the circumstances in which Mr. Barry Gray was mistakenly released from custody and whether a report of any inquiry will be placed in the Library.

Mr. Barry Gray had been held for 18 months in a French prison until he was extradited in January this year. He was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for deception at Southwark Crown Court on 19 June this year. In passing sentence the judge publicly stated that he had taken into consideration the time Mr. Gray spent in custody in France. Nevertheless, he should not have been discharged from Southwark Crown Court.

A senior governor is conducting an investigation into the circumstances. In accordance with normal policy for such internal investigations it is not planned to publish the report. I will, however, write to you again when the investigation is complete, setting out the conclusions.