Innocent man who spent 17 years in jail for rape he didn't commit blasts 'meaningless' police apology

27 July 2023, 10:12 | Updated: 27 July 2023, 10:17

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

By Will Taylor

A man who spent 17 years in jail for a rape he did not commit has branded the police's apology as "meaningless" after his conviction was overturned.

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Andrew Malkinson, 57, was found guilty of raping a woman in Greater Manchester in 2003 and was jailed for life with a minimum term of seven years.

Malkinson stayed in prison for another 10 years as he maintained his innocence, insisting he would "not falsely confess to abhorrent crimes which he did not commit", his barrister Edward Henry KC said.

There was no DNA evidence linking him to the crime, meaning he was prosecuted solely based on eyewitness identification.

Greater Manchester Police apologised after the conviction was overturned, saying: "We are truly sorry to Mr Malkinson that he is the victim of such a grave miscarriage of justice in being convicted of a crime he did not commit and serving a 17-year custodial sentence.

"Whilst we hope this outcome gives him a long overdue sense of justice, we acknowledge that it does not return the years he has lost. I have offered to meet with him to personally deliver this apology."

But Malkinson said: "An apology without accountability, what is that? It's nothing, it's nothing, it means nothing."

Andrew Malkinson, who served 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit, speaks outside the Royal Courts of Justice
Andrew Malkinson, who served 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit, speaks outside the Royal Courts of Justice. Picture: Alamy

Branding his detention as being "kidnapped by the state", he told the BBC: "It's taken an extremely heavy toll on my person, my psyche, my psychology, my being, my soul. I can't articulate how I even managed to get through it.

"I was in total shock for the first even a few years. I contemplated suicide many times."

Malkinson was sentenced for two counts of rape and one of choking or strangling with intent to commit rape.

His convictions were overturned by three judges. Lord Justice Holroyde said he was "free and no longer... subject to the conditions of licence".

Speaking after, Malkinson told the victim: "I am so sorry that you were attacked and brutalised that night by that man. I am not the person who attacked you but what happened to me is not your fault."

He said: "I am not a liar. I am not in denial but I will tell you who is - Greater Manchester Police are liars, and they are in denial.

"Even after this judgment today, I predict we will see them denying responsibility for what happened. We will see them stretching credulity with their excuse-making.

"Greater Manchester Police have been scrambling to cover up how they wrongfully convicted me for 20 years."

His mother, Tricia Hose, said: "Now Andy's name has been cleared, suddenly in the public eye, I am no longer a deluded mother. My son is no longer a monster."

Andrew Malkinson spent 17 years in jail
Andrew Malkinson spent 17 years in jail. Picture: Police

Malkinson's case was referred to the Court of Appeal in January by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) after fresh DNA evidence emerged identifying another suspect.

The suspect, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been arrested.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) did not contest Mr Malkinson's appeal.

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His case could have "wider implications" for the criminal justice system, his lawyers told the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.

Andrew Malkinson
Andrew Malkinson. Picture: Alamy

Ch Con Jackson said: "We are also profoundly sorry to the victim of this crime, who not only suffered an horrific trauma 20 years ago, but also relived the experience during a criminal trial, and now may endure additional harm caused by learning that the true offender has not yet been brought to justice.

"We are absolutely committed to following all new lines of enquiry to ensure the right person is held accountable for harming her."

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Mr Malkinson previously applied twice for his case to be reviewed by the CCRC but was turned down, eventually being released from prison in December 2020.

After his release, advancements in scientific techniques allowed his legal team, supported by legal charity Appeal, to provide new DNA analysis that cast doubt on his conviction to the CCRC.

The body then commissioned its own testing which found that DNA from the victim's clothing matched another man on the national police database.

GMP confirmed in January that a man had been arrested and released under investigation in light of the new information, but no decision has been made as to whether he will be charged.