Essex

Essex conman Norman Fowler released from jail in Spain

Norman Fowler Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Norman Fowler was in jail in Spain

A serial conman wanted in the UK for a £21,000 fraud but arrested in Spain for an unconnected crime has been released.

Norman Fowler, 38, from Colchester, went missing in 2014 after being sentenced to nine months in jail for fraud.

He was being held in custody while on remand for gun licensing matters, but has now been released.

Thomas Tailford, a victim of Fowler, has criticised Essex Police for not seeking extradition quickly enough.

Essex Police said a request for a European Arrest Warrant had already been made, adding: "The officer in the case has been in contact with the relevant authorities to expedite the request."

On the streets

Fowler has been on the run for two years after skipping bail at Norwich Crown Court.

Last week the BBC tracked him to Spain, where he was being held in a jail in Alicante.

Spanish sources have confirmed to the BBC Fowler has been seen back on the streets in Spain after being released on bail.

Videographer Mr Tailford, from Norfolk, who had cameras stolen by Fowler, set up a website to expose him and track him down.

Mr Tailford told the BBC: "Following the BBC investigation I expected the police would certainly make an effort to ensure Fowler's arrest so he could be brought to justice.

"Obviously I'm frustrated again thinking that Norman Fowler could abscond again and feel the police should really have been in touch with the authorities in Spain to advise he has a previous history of evading police."

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