AN INVESTIGATION is underway within a police force to identify how a man was placed into custody and appeared in court for criminal matters that were nothing to do with him.

A hearing was due to take place at Poole Magistrates' Court on April 28 concerning Farhand Rashidi, 45, also known as Bakhtyar Gazi, in relation to offences of assault and theft in Bournemouth dating back to March 2016.

A man, who West Midlands Police were led to believe was Rashidi, appeared by video link from HMP Hewell.

This came after the individual was arrested in Coventry on a separate matter and the Police National Computer identified this man to be the defendant who was wanted on a warrant for failing to attend court.

However, after the magistrates in Poole saw a picture of the person originally arrested several years ago in relation to the case, they ruled the man on the screen was not the defendant.

It was ordered that the detained man, who had the same surname as the defendant but a different first name, be released from custody immediately.

In a statement, a West Midlands Police spokeswoman told the Daily Echo: "A 41-year-old man was arrested just before midnight on Sunday, April 25, for allegedly failing to provide a breath specimen after the car he was driving hit a tree in Coventry

" He was subsequently released under investigation for that reported offence, however the Police National Computer (PNC) identified that he was wanted on warrant for failing to appear at court for an assault offence in Bournemouth.

"At a hearing on Wednesday, April 28, Poole Magistrates' Court identified that he was not the individual sought, and the man was released from custody.

"Enquiries are now on-going to identify how the error happened."

Dorset Police confirmed to the Daily Echo that the warrant for Rashidi, of unknown address, was still live.

He was previously convicted in his absence of two allegations of assault by beating, while he had already pleaded guilty to the theft of a mobile phone when he was first before the court in March 2016.

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