Police issue new images in hunt for remand prisoner released in error in west London

Handout CCTV grab dated 24/03/21 issued by the Metropolitan Police of William Fernandez, 24, at Oxford Circus Underground Station in London. The 24-year-old was mistakenly released from HMP Wormwood Scrubs in west London where he was being held on remand while awaiting trial. Issue date: Monday March 29, 2021.
Credit: Met Police

Police searching for a man who was mistakenly released from a west London prison have issued new images of the 24-year-old.

William Fernandez was being held on remand at HMP Wormwood Scrubs while awaiting trial on sexual assault charges.

But the Metropolitan Police were informed by staff at the prison on Wednesday that Fernandez had been released from custody in error.

Fernandez was arrested and charged with sexual assault, indecent exposure and possession of a class B drug in April 2020, the Met said.

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.

Credit: Met Police

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

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

The force has now issued new CCTV images of Fernandez at Oxford Circus Underground station, recorded shortly before 8.40pm on March 24.

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 Chief Inspector Lucy O’Connor, who is leading the search, said: “I would urge anyone who knows of Fernandez’s whereabouts to contact us immediately.

“Any information, no matter how small, may be able to assist our investigation.”

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 is advised to call 999 immediately providing the reference 7873/24MAR.