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A man who served 17 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit gets an apology from UK review body


LONDON (AP) — A British man who spent 17 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit received an “unreserved apology” Thursday from a review body that twice rejected his attempts to have his conviction referred to the Court of Appeal.

Andrew Malkinson, 58, had his conviction quashed last July by the appeals court after recently obtained DNA evidence linked another suspect to the crime.

He applied to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which investigates potential miscarriages of justice, on two occasions, firstly as early as 2009, but was rebuffed both times.

Following an independent review of its involvement, the commission’s chair Helen Pitcher said it was “clear” that the body had failed Malkinson.

“For this, I am deeply sorry. I have written to Mr. Malkinson to offer him my sincere regret and an unreserved apology on behalf of the commission,” she said. “Nobody can ever begin to imagine the devastating impact that Mr. Malkinson’s wrongful conviction has had on his life, and I can only apologize for the additional harm caused to him by our handling of his case.”

Malkinson said he felt “vindicated” by the apology, but that “it is too little too late.”

“The time for Helen Pitcher to apologize was last summer when I was exonerated,” he said in a statement issued on his behalf by legal charity Appeal. “The CCRC’s failings caused me a world of pain. Even the police apologized straight away."

Malkinson had been found guilty of the brutal 2003 attack on a 33-year-old woman in Greater Manchester who had picked him out from a police lineup. At the time of his trial, there was no DNA evidence linking Malkinson to the crime.

He was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum term of seven years, but he always maintained his innocence and served an additional 10 years as a result.

Malkinson was eventually released from prison in 2020, but his name remained on Britain’s sex offenders register until his conviction was quashed.

Police have arrested another man for the 2003 rape. He is currently on bail.