A SERIES of paperwork blunders led to violent criminals and paedophiles being accidentally released from Scots prisons, it has emerged.
This year eight criminals from Saughton, Barlinnie and Kilmarnock – all high-security prisons – were accidentally released due to “admin errors” caused by miscalculating sentences.
The figure for 2012 is the highest for five years. Altogether, 48 prisoners have been accidentally released since 2005.
In 2007 a fraudster was wrongly freed from Saughton for 111 days, before being hauled back inside and in 2010 a paedophile was accidentally released for a day.
Margaret Watson, who set up the campaign group Justice for Victims after the murder of her daughter, Diane, said: “If mistakes are happening the system needs to be tightened up. It’s unforgiveable.”
John Lamont MSP, the Tory chief whip, said: “The public will find it hard to understand why what should be a fairly straightforward process could have such a number of mistakes.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said: “The calculation of a release date can be complicated by matters such as taking into account whether a prisoner was held on remand, where more than one sentence is being served and whether or not sentences are concurrant.”