A LAUNCESTON man was released from jail on Monday, only to be thrown back in and told he wasn’t due out for another year.
The awkward situation is the latest controversy for Tasmania’s troubled prison service and it has angered the man’s dying father, who had arranged for family to travel from Western Australia on Monday for the occasion.
Damien Harris is serving a multi-year sentence for the armed hold-up of a Hobart video store in 2013.
The 40-year-old’s father Percy Harris received a letter earlier this month informing him of his son’s release.
On Monday, Damien was released but he was arrested soon after at a Centrelink in Hobart and returned to his cell at Risdon Prison because of the error.
His actual release date is April 7, 2017.
``Investigations are currently being undertaken to confirm how and why this may have occurred, and all necessary steps will be undertaken to ensure that this cannot happen again,’’ a Justice Department spokesman said on Thursday.
``No further comment will be made at this time.’’
Percy – who only has 25 per cent of his lungs – had planned to make the most of his son’s release this year, knowing that he may not live much longer.
``I thought at least I’ll get to see him before I go. And then this happened,’’ Percy said.
``It’s a big balls up.’’
Percy said two relatives were ready to board their flights to Launceston from Perth when he called them and told them what had happened.
``They’ve had to cancel their trips. They’re not going to get their money back.’’
Percy said he spoke to Prison Service Director Brian Edwards about the mistake, but Damien will be required to see out the remainder of his sentence.