An innocent man who spent 17 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit, has said he is “sickened” that he may have to pay for his prison accommodation and food costs out of any compensation he wins.
Andrew Malkinson, 57, was found guilty of raping a woman in Greater Manchester in 2003 and the next year was jailed for life with a minimum term of seven years. He served 10 more years because he maintained his innocence, the time he said took an “extremely heavy toll” on his psyche and during which he “contemplated suicide many times”.
His conviction was quashed by senior judges at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday after DNA evidence linking another man to the crime came to light. However, he has dismissed Greater Manchester Police’s apology over his wrongful conviction as “meaningless” – and slammed rules which could force him to pay some of the costs of his incarceration should he be awarded compensation.
Speaking outside the High Court yesterday, Mr. Malkinson said he had been “kidnapped” by the state – and that he was “sickened” by the thought he would have to pay for his “kidnapping”.
He told The Telegraph: “The idea of having to pay my torturers, when I heard about it, it just enraged me beyond… I almost couldn’t cope with it, the idea. I thought ‘That’s so sick’.
“Proven innocents have to pay for their torture? What the hell? Are you serious?”
Under the current guidance, Mr Malkinson could be made to give up a portion of any payment compensation payment he receives to pay for costs – such as food and accommodation – that he would have incurred if he had not been jailed. An independent assessor would determine how much is awarded – including any deductions for living costs.
The guidance was confirmed by the House of Lords in 2007, before it was replaced by the Supreme Court in 2009, as the UK’s highest court.
However, Conservative MP and chair of the UK Parliament’s Justice Committee Bob Neill, is calling on the Government to review the rules.
Sir Bob said: “You can make a case about safeguarding taxpayers’ money, I understand that. But then you have to put the other side of the coin, well hang on, it was because of the state’s activity that this person was wrongly convicted, wrongly imprisoned as it turns out, should they actually then be having a deduction made from that?”
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson told The Telegraph that deductions from compensation were sometimes made when there had been “substantial savings” made on living costs while a person was in custody.
Greater Manchester Police has issued an apology to Mr Malkinson.
Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Jackson said: “We are truly sorry to Mr Malkinson that he is the victim of such a grave miscarriage of justice in being convicted of a crime he did not commit and serving a 17-year custodial sentence.
“Whilst we hope this outcome gives him a long overdue sense of justice, we acknowledge that it does not return the years he has lost. I have offered to meet with him to personally deliver this apology.”
However, Mr Malkinson told the BBC’s Newsnight programme: “The Greater Manchester Police apology… it’s meaningless to me, absolutely meaningless. An apology without accountability, what is that? It’s nothing, it’s nothing, it means nothing.”
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday that it felt as though he had been “kidnapped by the state”.
“It’s taken an extremely heavy toll on my person, my psyche, my psychology, my being, my soul. I can’t articulate how I even managed to get through it. I was in total shock for the first even a few years. I contemplated suicide many times.”
After the ruling, Mr Malkinson told reporters outside the Royal Courts of Justice: “Since I was arrested in 2003, the police, the prison system, and Probation Service have been calling me a liar because I denied that I committed the crime. They claimed I was ‘in denial’ and made me serve an extra 10 more years in prison because I would not make a false confession.
“I am not a liar. I am not in denial but I will tell you who is – Greater Manchester Police are liars, and they are in denial. Even after this judgment today, I predict we will see them denying responsibility for what happened. We will see them stretching credulity with their excuse-making.
“Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have been scrambling to cover up how they wrongfully convicted me for 20 years.”
Addressing the victim of the crime he did not commit, he said: “I am so sorry that you were attacked and brutalised that night by that man. I am not the person who attacked you but what happened to me is not your fault.”
Mr Malkinson’s mother Tricia Hose, in her mid-70s, said: “Now Andy’s name has been cleared, suddenly in the public eye, I am no longer a deluded mother. My son is no longer a monster.
“But what has been done to him cannot be undone. The damage will be with him for the rest of his life and the woman who got attacked has been denied justice, just as my son was.”Share this story to friends