Investigation launched into handling of Andrew Malkinson case after wrongful rape conviction

13 September 2023, 21:15

Andrew Malkinson spent 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit
Andrew Malkinson spent 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

An investigation into the handling of Andrew Malkinson's wrongful rape conviction has been launched by the police watchdog.

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Mr Malkinson, who served 17 years in jail for a rape he did not commit, had his 2003 conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal in July, after new DNA evidence potentially linking another man to the crime was identified.

An investigation will look into allegations Greater Manchester Police (GMP) failed to keep evidence and then failed to reveal information relating to two witnesses who gave evidence at the trial, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

Reacting to the announcement, Mr Malkinson said he hoped the IOPC would "take the opportunity to root out the corruption plaguing GMP, and to hold individual officers accountable for the tremendous suffering they have caused".

Andrew Malkinson
Andrew Malkinson. Picture: Alamy

IOPC director of operations Amanda Rowe said the watchdog would ensure there is "thorough scrutiny of the actions of police involved".

The IOPC review highlighted "significant issues with GMP's investigation into the complaints and identified several outstanding lines of inquiry".

The IOPC has ruled the complaints "were not dealt with in a reasonable and proportionate matter" by GMP, and will carry out further investigation itself.

Read More: Police knew another man's DNA was on clothes of rape victim 13 years before wrongly jailed Andrew Malkinson was released

Read More: Top lawyer blasts Andrew Malkinson rape case as the 'worst miscarriage of justice of the 21st century'

IOPC director of operations Amanda Rowe said: "My thoughts are with Mr Malkinson, who has suffered greatly as a result of one of the worst miscarriages of justice in British legal history.

"Given our concerns over GMP's handling of the complaints - and the significant public interest in a case that led to a man spending 17 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit - our involvement will ensure there is thorough scrutiny of the actions of police involved."

Tom Swarbrick speaks to Andrew Malkinson after his rape conviction was quashed after 20-year fight

It comes after the Justice Secretary Alex Chalk ordered an independent public inquiry into the circumstances and handling of Andrew Malkinson's case.

Case files obtained by 57-year-old Mr Malkinson as he battled to be freed show that police and prosecutors knew forensic testing in 2007 had identified a searchable male DNA profile on the rape victim's vest top that did not match his own.

No match was found on the police database at the time and no further action was taken.

Speaking to LBC after his conviction was quashed, Mr Malkinson described his experience inside prison as "worse than hell", saying he had been "tortured".

Speaking to LBC's Tom Swarbrick, Mr Malkinson dispelled the "myth" that everyone inside jail thinks they're innocent.But regardless of whether one is guilty or innocent, Mr Malkinson described his experience inside jail as "worse than hell".

"One guy said to me 'you must be really suffering because this is hell even if you’re guilty…it’s not true that everyone says they’re innocent," he said.

“It did pretty much consume me almost all of my waking, conscious life," Mr Malkinson said.

"No person should ever go to prison for one day but for years and years on end is utter psychological torture" he added.

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