False Rape Allegations
A British man Andy Malkinson has won his fight to clear his name after spending 17 years in jail for a rape he did not commit. Malkinson was convicted of raping a 33-year-old woman by a motorway in Greater Manchester in 2003. However, new DNA evidence has pointed to another male suspect.
Malkinson’s case was referred to the Court of Appeal in January after another man’s DNA was found on the victim’s clothing. He hopes that the new Court of Appeal hearing will finally clear his name.
When detectives put handcuffs on Andy Malkinson on 2 August 2003, little did the quietly-spoken Grimsby man realise he would, in his words, spend half his life fighting for truth and justice. “I have been let down. I’ve been terribly let down,” he says. “And I know I’m not the only one either. I don’t trust the state. It doesn’t like to admit failures.”
In a few hours, the 57-year-old will step inside a criminal court for what he hopes is a final and conclusive verdict on those failures. Three of the most senior judges in England must decide whether to quash his conviction for rape. That decision has been more than two years in the making, after DNA evidence was discovered that implicates another man in the awful crime of July 2003.
The first Mr Malkinson knew of the crime was when Greater Manchester Police (GMP) arrested him in his hometown of Grimsby, two weeks after the assault and attempted murder in Salford. He had been in the area at the time – working temporarily as a security guard before planning to return to The Netherlands, which he wanted to make his permanent home.
Mr Malkinson firmly and persistently told detectives they had the wrong man. He couldn’t understand why they thought he was the attacker. For a start, he looked nothing like the e-fit image of the suspect drawn up with the help of the victim. The woman had left a deep scratch on her attacker’s face. There was no evidence Mr Malkinson had been injured – none of his workmates had seen it – nor was there DNA or other forensic evidence to link him to the victim or location.
He was taller than how the attacker was described – and he also had prominent tattoos on his forearms that the victim had not mentioned. Instead, she recalled a man who had a Bolton accent and a shiny hairless chest. ” [The police] made a big show of building up to this,” Mr Malkinson recalls. “I lifted my chest to show them. It was considerable growth. I’d never shaved my chest in my life. But they just proceeded, brushed it aside and barrelled on.”
Then, when he voluntarily agreed to take part in an identity parade, the victim picked him out. After enduring two decades of being labelled a sex offender, Malkinson, 57, had his conviction quashed on Wednesday after a DNA breakthrough.
This is a stark reminder of the importance of due process and the need for thorough investigations before convictions are made. #Rape
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