The Chairman of Criminal Cases Review Commission has offered an unreserved Apology to Andrew Malkinson who was imprisoned after wrongly being convicted of a rape in Salford

Helen Pitcher said: “Mr Henley’s report makes sobering reading, and it is clear from his findings that the Commission failed Andrew 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.

“There may have been a belief that I have been unwilling ever to apologise to Mr Malkinson, and I want to clarify that this is not the case. For me, offering a genuine apology required a clear understanding of the circumstances in which the Commission failed Mr Malkinson. We now have that.

“Nobody can ever begin to imagine the devastating impact that Mr Malkinson’s wrongful conviction has had on his life, and I can only apologise for the additional harm caused to him by our handling of his case.”

Andrew Malkinson’s wrongful conviction for rape, for which he spent over 17 years in prison was overturned by the court of appeal in 2023 in view of new DNA evidence implicating another suspect.

Mr Malkinson said the time for CCRC chairman Helen Pitcher to apologise was when he was exonerated last summer.

He told Sky News:

“The CCRC’s delay in apologising to me added significantly to the mental turmoil I am experiencing as I continue to fight for accountability for what was done to me,”

“The CCRC’s failings caused me a world of pain. Even the police apologised straight away. It feels like Helen Pitcher is only apologising now because the CCRC has been found out, and the last escape hatch has now closed on them.”

He said his lawyer had written to Ms Pitcher last September requesting an apology, to which she refused.

He added: “It is hard for me to see the sincerity in an apology after all this time – when you are truly sorry for what you have done, you respond immediately and instinctively, it wells up in you.”

In its defence The CCRC said that itsitention was to provide Mr Malkinson with a copy of the report and to make the findings public much earlier.

However, in his review report Mr Henley examines in considerable detail not only the role of the CCRC, but the actions of other agencies, including Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

When the CCRC commissioned Mr Henley’s review, the wider inquiry into Mr Malkinson’s case, led by Her Honour Judge Sarah Munro KC, had not been announced.

Therefore, before proceeding, the Commission has felt obliged to share the report with the Andrew Malkinson Inquiry chaired by HHJ Sarah Munro KC for its observations, and is now sharing it with the CPS, GMP and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). These steps are necessary to ensure that the Commission does nothing that would compromise the integrity of the Inquiry process or jeopardise the potential prosecution of an alternative suspect.

The CCRC will continue to review this and will update Mr Malkinson regarding publication of the report.

Helen Pitcher added: “Once we have received clarity regarding the sharing and publication of Mr Henley’s report, I will arrange a meeting with Andrew Malkinson in person not only to discuss the report’s findings and recommendations and outline the steps we are taking to address them, but to offer him a formal apology on behalf of the Commission.

“I want to assure Mr Malkinson and the wider public of our commitment to rectify the mistakes made.

“Our aim is to enact reforms that prevent further injustices, such as those Andrew Malkinson has experienced, from ever occurring in the future. To that end, work has already started on implementing the nine recommendations outlined in Mr Henley’s review.”


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