Police and prosecutors reportedly knew in 2007 that another man’s DNA was on the clothes of the woman Andrew Malkinson was wrongly jailed for raping, but he remained behind bars for a further 13 years.
Malkinson, who spent 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit, had his conviction overturned last month after DNA was produced linking another man to the crime.
Case files obtained by the 57-year-old man as he fought to be released show that officers and prosecutors knew that forensic tests in 2007 had identified a male DNA profile on the rape victim’s T-shirt that did not match the his, The Guardian reported.
They chose not to take further action and there is no record that they told the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC), the body charged with investigating possible judicial errors, according to the report.
CPS said Malkinson’s attorneys were informed of the new DNA evidence.
The CCRC refused to order further forensic testing or refer the case for appeal in 2012, and case files reportedly suggest it was concerned about costs.
Malkinson was wrongly convicted of raping a woman in Greater Manchester in 2003 and the following year was jailed for life with a minimum sentence of seven years, but served another 10 because he maintained his innocence.
Notes from a meeting between the Forensic Science Service, CPS and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in December 2009 suggest that the CPS understood the possible significance of the 2007 DNA find, according to the report.
CPS guidance states that you “should write to the CCRC as soon as possible about any case where there is a question about the security of conviction.”
An internal record of Mr Malkinson’s first application to the CCRC in 2009, in an attempt to appeal his conviction, reveals that the CCRC highlighted the cost of further testing and said it was unlikely to lead to his conviction being overturned. .
Malkinson’s solicitor, Emily Bolton, director of the charity Appeal, said: “The documents are a shocking chronicle of how Andy was completely failed by the body, which should have put an end to his nightmare of wrongful conviction, but in change acted as a barrier to justice.
“A review of the CCRC is needed to prevent it from failing other innocent prisoners.