Although Andrew Malkinson was wrongfully imprisoned for rape in 2007, police and prosecutors allegedly knew that another man’s DNA was on the garments of the victim. Despite this, he was kept in prison for an additional 13 years.
Following the discovery of DNA connecting another guy to the crime, Mr. Malkinson, who served 17 years in jail for a rape he did not commit, had his conviction overturned last month.
According to the files the 57-year-old got throughout his fight for freedom, officers and prosecutors were aware that forensic testing in 2007 had revealed a searchable male DNA profile on the rape victim’s vest top that did not match his own.
According to the study, they made the decision to take no further action, and there is no evidence that they informed the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the organisation in charge of looking into potential injustices, of their decision.
The CPS claimed that the new DNA evidence was disclosed to Mr Malkinson’s solicitors.
In 2012, the CCRC declined to order more forensic testing or refer the matter for appeal, apparently citing expense concerns in the case files.
Malkinson was wrongfully convicted of raping a lady in Greater Manchester in 2003. The following year, he was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of seven years; nevertheless, he continued to claim his innocence and served an additional 10 years.
According to the study, notes from a conference between the Forensic Science Service, the CPS, and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in December 2009 indicate that the CPS was aware of the potential significance of the 2007 DNA discovery.
According to CPS guidance, it “must write to the CCRC about any case in which there is doubt about the safety of the conviction at the earliest opportunity.”
According to reports, the CCRC noted the cost of additional testing and stated it would be unlikely to result in Mr. Malkinson’s conviction being overturned in an internal log of his initial application to the CCRC in 2009, which was made in an effort to appeal against his conviction.
Mr Malkinson’s solicitor Emily Bolton, director of the Appeal charity, said: “The documents are a shocking chronicle of how Andy was utterly failed by the body which should have put an end to his wrongful conviction nightmare, but instead acted as a barrier to justice.
“An overhaul of the CCRC is needed to prevent it failing other innocent prisoners.”
James Burley, investigator at Appeal, said: “These records prove that the CCRC’s handling of Andy’s case was deeply flawed and a complete mess.
“By not bothering to obtain the police files, the CCRC failed to uncover evidence which could have got Andy’s name cleared a decade earlier.”
He added: “The CCRC’s internal comments show that in deciding not to commission any DNA testing, cost was at the forefront of their considerations. That decision may have saved the CCRC some money, but it came at a brutal cost for both Andy and the victim.
“The CCRC has been giving the false impression that a DNA breakthrough could not have been achieved by them sooner.
“These records show that is nonsense, and I don’t think they would have commissioned any DNA enquiries on this case at all if APPEAL hadn’t obtained new DNA testing results ourselves first.”
Mr Malkinson said: “If the CCRC had investigated properly, it would have spared me years in prison for a crime I did not commit.
“I feel an apology is the least I am owed, but it seems like the very body set up to address the system’s fallibility is labouring under the delusion that it is itself infallible. How many more people has it failed?”
The PA news agency has contacted the CCRC, GMP, and the CPS for comments.
A CPS spokesperson told The Guardian: “It is clear Mr Malkinson was wrongly convicted of this crime and we share the deep regret that this happened.
“Evidence of a new DNA profile found on the victim’s clothing in 2007 was not ignored. It was disclosed to the defence team representing Mr Malkinson for their consideration.
“In addition, searches of the DNA databases were conducted to identify any other possible suspects. At that time there were no matches and therefore no further investigation could be carried out.”
The CCRC told the newspaper: “As we have said before, it is plainly wrong that a man spent 17 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.”