Michael Lawrence Smith
Michael Lawrence Smith is on the run PSNI

A "dangerous" murder suspect is on the run after being released from prison in Northern Ireland by mistake.

Michael Lawrence Smith was last seen in the Belfast area at 2pm on Tuesday (7 March) and has not returned to Maghaberry Prison, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said.

Police said that the 38-year-old had been released by mistake. He is on remand for murder, and had previously applied for bail, and been refused.

Det Supt Kevin Geddes said Mr Smith was "deemed as dangerous" had "an extensive history of violence".

"I would ask Mr Smith to hand himself in to the authorities without any further delay and ask anyone who knows of his current whereabouts or who has any information to contact police on 999," he said.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Prison Service said that Smith's "erroneous release" was being investigated.

Members of the public have been urged not to approach Smith but to contact the PSNI immediately.