“I didn't understand it but just went along with it. I thought maybe the case had been dropped"
Hoffman Singh, a businessman, who was accidentally released from jail has finally surrendered himself back into the police after enjoying two weeks of freedom.
After being freed he attended London’s famous Notting Hill carnival, where he snapped a photo grinning alongside three police officers, who were oblivious to the fact he was supposed to be in jail.
“I just couldn’t resist a picture with the police,” said the 44-year-old escapee.
“Little did they know that rather than posing for a photo, they should have been putting the handcuffs on me.”
The alcoholic businessman from Feltham, West London, was originally accused of common assault, wasting police time, being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle, failing to provide a specimen and racially-aggravated harassment.
Speaking to The Sun, Singh said:
“I am not a master criminal, just an alcoholic businessman who has made mistakes, needs help and wants to make changes.”
He added, “I’ve been arrested four times in the last six weeks, all for minor alcohol-related incidents.”
Singh presumed the charges against him were dropped, when the authorities at Pentonville Prison in London sent him home in a taxi, instead of organising a van to take him to a court hearing.
He said he informed the wardens that he was due to have a court hearing on August 25, but instead, they told him to ‘pack your stuff’ as he was going home.
“I didn’t understand it but just went along with it. I thought maybe the case had been dropped. It didn’t cross my mind that it was a mistake.”
Police did not process the error until Singh spoke with his lawyer and handed himself in, two weeks after his release.
A spokesperson from the Police Service said: “These incidents are rare and the vast majority are returned to custody very quickly.”
Singh said it was fortunate he is not a master criminal, otherwise this error could have been a “tragic tale”.