The UK police issued a profound apology to Andrew Malkinson after he spent 17 years wrongly locked up for a crime he did not commit. The Court of Appeal finally exonerated him on Wednesday, thanks to new DNA evidence that linked the actual perpetrator to the rape case.
The emotional hearing saw Malkinson expressing his relief and anger at the injustice he endured.
Malkinson’s life took a devastating turn in 2004 when he was convicted of rape, leading to a lengthy imprisonment that severely curtailed his freedoms. He yearned for the day he could prove his innocence and reclaim his life. When the judge declared him a free man, Malkinson’s first thought was to go on holiday, but beneath the surface, the scars of wrongful imprisonment ran deep.
His voice trembled with dignified fury as he spoke about the Greater Manchester Police (GMP), whom he accused of being “liars” for failing to disclose critical flaws in his case and destroying key exhibits. The extent of GMP’s disclosure failures was revealed during the hearing, painting a troubling picture of injustices that had taken place.
Throughout his ordeal, Malkinson insisted on his innocence, and no DNA evidence ever linked him to the crime. It was the new forensic testing that revealed another man’s DNA on the victim’s clothing, ultimately leading to his exoneration.
After nearly two decades of wrongful imprisonment, Malkinson emerged jobless and homeless, left to grapple with the profound impact of the injustice he suffered. His emotional statement outside the Royal Courts of Justice conveyed the nightmare he endured, wondering if he would be killed or would take his own life in prison.
The apology from the GMP’s assistant chief constable Sarah Jackson was a step towards acknowledging the grave miscarriage of justice that Malkinson endured. The statement expressed remorse for the trauma he had to go through and acknowledged the irreplaceable years he lost.
Despite the victory of being declared innocent, Malkinson’s life has been forever changed, and the scars of wrongful conviction will remain with him.