Northern Ireland

On-the-run murder suspect Michael Lawrence Smith arrested by the PSNI

Michael Lawrence Smith Image copyright PSNI
Image caption Michael Smith was arrested in the Carryduff area on Wednesday

A "dangerous" murder suspect who was on the run for a month after being released by mistake has been arrested by police.

Michael Lawrence Smith, 38, from west Belfast, was last seen on the 7 March in the Finaghy area of Belfast after failing to return to Maghaberry Prison.

The police said he had been "released erroneously" by the prison service to attend a family event.

The PSNI said Mr Smith was arrested in the Carryduff area on Wednesday.

They thanked the public for their help in apprehending him.

Ronnie Armour, the head of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, said: "I welcome news of the arrest and wish to thank colleagues from the PSNI for their efforts in bringing this prisoner back into custody."

He previously said that the release of Mr Smith was a "very serious mistake".

Mr Smith is charged with the murder of Stephen Carson, who was shot dead in his Belfast home in front of his partner and nine-year-old son in February 2016.

He had previously applied for bail, but been refused.

The police had said that Mr Smith had "an extensive history of violence" and urged the public not to approach him.

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