The Justice Secretary has ordered an unbiased public inquiry into the circumstances and dealing with of Andrew Malkinson’s case, after he wrongly spent 17 years in jail for a rape he didn’t commit.
Mr Malkinson had his 2003 conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal in July, after new DNA proof probably linking one other man to the crime was recognized.
Alex Chalk, the Justice Secretary mentioned the case was “an atrocious miscarriage of justice” as he introduced a non-statutory inquiry into Mr Malkinson’s case.
Non-statutory inquiries don’t have the authorized energy to compel witnesses to attend, as an alternative counting on the co-operation of individuals and organisations concerned.
The probe will examine the dealing with and the position of Greater Manchester Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Criminal Cases Review Commission in his conviction and subsequent appeals to make sure classes are discovered.
Mr Chalk went on: “The core function of our justice system is to convict the guilty and ensure the innocent walk free. Yet a man spent 17 years in prison for a crime he did not commit while a rapist remained on the loose.
“It is essential that lessons are learned in full.”
Mr Malkinson welcomed the information, and mentioned: “I spent over 17 years wrongly imprisoned and so I hope that my lawyers and I will be given the opportunity to feed into the inquiry’s terms of reference.”
“I had to take the police to court twice to force them to hand over evidence.
“The CCRC (Criminal Cases Review Commission) has so far refused to apologise and take accountability. So, naturally, I am concerned that witnesses from these agencies may not co-operate and hand over all the evidence.”
He added: “If there is any obstruction by the agencies involved, then the inquiry needs to be made statutory so that they can be compelled to hand over evidence.
“I want to see serious, profound changes in our justice system coming out of this. My case shows that the police cannot be trusted to investigate impartially or act as faithful gatekeepers to the evidence.
“It also shows that the CCRC, which could have spared me years of life behind bars, is not fit for purpose.”
Mr Malkinson’s solicitor, Emily Bolton, the founding father of regulation charity Appeal, insisted her shopper “must be at the heart of any inquiry including having a voice in setting its terms of reference”.
She additionally mentioned the inquiry ought to be placed on a statutory footing “if the agencies involved refuse to act with full transparency and candour”.
A chair will probably be appointed in the end, as will the publication of the inquiry’s phrases of reference, in accordance with the Government.
The Ministry of Justice mentioned Mr Malkinson’s views and experiences will probably be heard all through the method.
Case information obtained by 57-year-old Mr Malkinson as he battled to be freed present that police and prosecutors knew forensic testing in 2007 had recognized a searchable male DNA profile on the rape sufferer’s vest high that didn’t match his personal.
No match was discovered on the police database on the time and no additional motion was taken.
Mr Malkinson wrote to the CCRC in 2009 for a overview of his case, however on the conclusion of its overview in 2012, the fee refused to order additional forensic testing or refer the case for attraction.
CCRC paperwork referring to the case between 2009 and 2012 recommend there have been considerations about prices.
Responding to the inquiry announcement, Chief Constable Stephen Watson, of Greater Manchester Police, mentioned the pressure’s participation within the probe can be “fulsome and reflective of integrity, candour and humility”.
He added: “I am very sorry that Mr Malkinson has suffered so grievously over these past many years. I acknowledge and regret the very difficult and prolonged journey that Mr Malkinson has had to undertake to prove his innocence. This appalling miscarriage of justice merits the most detailed scrutiny.”
Helen Pitcher OBE, chair of the CCRC mentioned: “To understand what went wrong in this appalling miscarriage of justice, every organisation involved in handling the case has to fully embrace this whole-system review quite rightly commissioned by the Lord Chancellor (the Justice Secretary).
“We must all contribute fully and engage promptly – and with a commitment to implement any recommendations it draws.”