Documents from a case where a man was wrongfully convicted of raping a woman show another man’s DNA was identified three years after he was jailed.
Andy Malkinson was sentenced in 2004 of raping a woman in Greater Manchester but had his conviction rescinded last month at the Court of Appeal.
Questions have since been raised as to why Mr Malkinson was not granted appeal as early as 2009.
Mr Malkinson went to prison protesting his innocence. During his trial, there was no DNA or forensic evidence that linked him to the attack.
Last month, the Court of Appeal quashed the 57-year-old’s conviction after the Crown Prosecution Service accepted that DNA obtained long ago from the victim’s clothing – but never fully and repeatedly tested for matches – pointed to another man.
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According to reports, case documents have shown that all key agencies involved in Mr Malkinson’s case knew by 2009 of this DNA.
His team argue that the evidence would have been more than enough to quash his conviction, even if the real suspect was unable to be identified.
In 2007, forensic scientists had run a nationwide operation to review biological samples from “cold case” unsolved crimes in the hope that technical advances in DNA profiling could identify more suspects.
In Andy Malkinson’s case, the scientists tested for new DNA from the victim’s clothing, with Scientists telling the Crown Prosecution Service lawyers and Greater Manchester Police detectives they were sure they had identified DNA from an unknown man’s saliva.
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The team told the CPS and GMP that the DNA had been recovered from the victim’s vest, close to where she had suffered a very serious bite wound.
A senior CPS lawyer wrote in his notes: “If it is assumed that the saliva came from the offender, then it does not derive from Malkinson. This is surprising because the area of the clothing that the saliva was recovered from was crime-specific.”
The 2007 DNA profile lay buried in a scientific archive after the Crown Prosecution Service advised against any more work on the case until Mr Malkinson’s new legal team tracked it down and commissioned their own testing in 2019.
That work ultimately led to the identification of a different man whose profile had, in the meantime, been added to the National DNA Database.
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Since being released from prison, more than 100,000 people have signed Mr Malkinson’s petition for an independent review of how the CCRC handled the case.
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?”
A spokesman for the CPS said it shared the “deep regret” that Mr Malkinson had been wrongly convicted – but denied the 2007 DNA evidence had been ignored. “It was disclosed [in 2009] to the defence team representing Mr Malkinson for their consideration,” he said. “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.”
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