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Britain's 'most-wanted' offender caught after 10-year hunt...then set free


A foreign criminal ranked as one of Britain's 'most-wanted' offenders was finally caught after an international manhunt lasting more than a decade – but was then inexplicably set free.

In a case that highlights the failure of the justice system to protect the public, Romanian knife thug Adrian Vasilescu is now back on the run.

In 2011, the 42-year-old – who was wanted in his homeland for slashing a woman's throat with a broken bottle – featured in a Crimestoppers list of dangerous foreign criminals in Britain.

He was traced to the Manor Park area of London and appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court for extradition.

But, freed on bail, he failed to comply with an order to check in with police and subsequently disappeared – for almost a decade.

Then, in 2020, Vasilescu was arrested by police investigating the attempted murder of a woman in Paisley, near Glasgow, who had been repeatedly stabbed. 

But he was let go from custody again and, when the case came to trial earlier this year, he failed to turn up.

Vasilescu had, astonishingly, been granted bail – even though he was a known flight risk.

Last week he was due to be sentenced for the 2020 attempted murder. But the sentencing could not go ahead – as court officials admitted they had no idea where he was.

Meanwhile, Vasilescu is still wanted by police in his native Romania.