'I've suffered incalculably': Innocent man who spent 17 years in jail for rape he didn't commit finally cleared

26 July 2023, 16:38 | Updated: 26 July 2023, 18:24

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
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A man who spent 17 years in jail for a crime he says he did not commit has had his rape conviction overturned.

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.

Mr Malkinson stayed in jail 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.

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

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

"I've suffered incalculably for the last 20 years as a result of my wrongful conviction, and I continue to suffer each day," he said.

"I have always known I am innocent."

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

Mr Malkinson's case were 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. His conviction was squashed by three judges.

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

GMP has now apologised to Mr Malkinson following his appeal.

Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Jackson said: "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.

Andrew Malkinson
Andrew Malkinson. Picture: Alamy

"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.

"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.

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