A KNIFEMAN due in court today for an attack on Southampton Common was not produced by prison officers, because of a supposed spelling error.

Nabil Errouam was due at Southampton Crown Court this morning after a knife attack on a teenage girl and a man near to The Cowherds pub in December.

But Errouam was not produced this morning because of an administrative error by Winchester Prison – where he is being held ahead of his sentencing.

The court heard how this may have occurred because the prison had Errouam’s name spelt “without an A”.

Errouam was therefore not transferred, despite him being listed for sentencing, the court was told.

Sentencing judge Nicholas Rowland described the situation as “wholly unsatisfactory”.

Defence council, Richard Onslow, made a verbal application to the court asking for costs to be paid for his wasted time.

He said: "It is my duty under the legal aid system to recover such costs where time has been wasted by a party who would be able to pay for it."

Errouam, 35, of Oxford Avenue, Bevois, will now be sentenced on Friday.

As previously reported in the Echo, Errouam attacked a 17-year-old girl and a 50-year-old man with a kitchen knife on Southampton Common on December 13.

The teenager was taken to Southampton General Hospital following the attack and was later discharged.

The 50-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman were treated at the scene.

Errouam was Tasered and arrested by police.

During a hearing at Southampton Magistrates' Court, he pleaded guilty to two counts of wounding, one count of kidnap, one count of making threats, one count of affray, as well as possession of a knife.

He pleaded not guilty to a count of false imprisonment, which was accepted by prosecutors.

A spokesperson for HM Prison Service said: "

"We sincerely apologise for the administrative error and the impact it has had.

"Staff at HMP Winchester are reviewing the process used to identify prisoners due in court to ensure such incidents don’t happen again.”