Police are appealing for the public’s help to locate a remand prisoner who was mistakenly released from HMP Wormwood Scrubs

William Fernandez, 24, was being held on remand awaiting trial for sexual assault by touching, indecent exposure and possession of a class B drug – offences for which he was arrested and charged in April 2020.

On Wednesday, 24 March, the Met was informed by staff at HMP Wormwood Scrubs in west London that Fernandez had that evening been released from custody in error.

Officers were sent to the prison and carried out searches in the local area. However, it is believed that soon after being released, Fernandez travelled by London Underground from East Acton station.

At 9.24pm that night, he was spotted on CCTV walking along Wealdstone High Street, heading north.

There have been no confirmed sightings of him since. Officers continue to conduct extensive enquiries to locate Fernandez, including CCTV analysis and house to house enquiries at several locations.

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 he has been known to travel on public transport and to spend time at transport hubs.

Detective Inspector Rory Wilkinson, who is leading the search, said: “Officers are exploring every possible line of enquiry to track Fernandez down and return him to prison.

“We would ask the public to assist us by being our eyes and ears and calling us if they see him or have any information about his whereabouts.”

Fernandez is 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.

If you see Fernandez or know where he is, please do not approach him. Call 999 immediately providing the reference 7873/24MAR.