WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
July 21 2021
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO

DNA ‘breakthrough’ in case of man who spent 17 years in prison for rape 

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DNA ‘breakthrough’ in case of man who spent 17 years in prison for rape 

A man who spent 17 years in jail for rape protesting his innocence has secured a major breakthrough in his bid to clear his name. Andrew Malkinson was jailed in 2004 after being found guilty of raping a 33-year-old mother-of-two and served ten years beyond his tariff because he refused to admit to the crime before being released last year. You can read about his case on the Justice Gap here in an article by Bob Woffinden (Forensically aware).

According to the Sunday Times, Greater Manchester police (GMP) has ‘now admitted that they misled the court by presenting two key witnesses, a couple, as honest’. ‘In fact, they had 16 convictions for 38 offences between them,’ writes Emily Dugan. 

A High Court judge ruled last week that there had been an ‘arguable error in law’ over GMP’s refusal to disclose more information about the witnesses and granted permission for a judicial review. ‘I’ve waited a long time for the science to catch up and finally it has,’ Malkinson told Dugan. He added: ‘It’s a terrible position to be in when it’s your word against someone else’s, because you just look guilty by the mere fact you’ve been accused … A year in prison is not like a year outside it. Every day drags and it’s just psychologically demanding.’ 

Last year the paper revealed that a new analysis found male DNA on samples taken from the victim and her clothing that did not match Malkinson’s. To prove his innocence, his lawyers wanted to eliminate the possibility that the DNA might belong to the victim’s boyfriend. New samples taken from the boyfriend reveal the boyfriend is not a match.

Malkinson’s case is being investigated by APPEAL. ‘The DNA results are clear: another man was responsible for the crime for which Andy Malkinson spent over 17 years wrongly imprisoned,’ said the group’s director Emily Bolton. ‘This is not simply a matter of justice, but also of public safety. That money would be better spent trying to bring to justice the real perpetrator of this violent crime, who may still be at large.’

The miscarriage of justice watchdog has twice rejected the case and ‘never ordered further DNA testing as science progressed, despite the lack of forensic evidence against Malkinson in the case’.

The case has echoes of Victor Nealon, who spent 17 years in prison for attempted rape and his conviction was overturned in 2013 after new DNA evidence pointed to another attacker. He was refused compensation by the Ministry of Justice and he is taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights along with Sam Hallam.