IOPC Investigating Greater Manchester Police Over Andrew Malkinson Case
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has initiated an investigation into the handling of Andrew Malkinson’s case by Greater Manchester Police (GMP). Mr. Malkinson, who spent 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit, had his 2003 conviction overturned by the Court of Appeal in July. This decision came after the discovery of new DNA evidence potentially linking another individual to the crime. The complaints against GMP pertain to allegations that the force failed to preserve evidence and neglected to disclose information regarding two witnesses who testified at the trial.
IOPC to Ensure Thorough Scrutiny
Amanda Rowe, the IOPC’s director of operations, emphasized that the watchdog would ensure a thorough examination of the actions of the police involved. The IOPC’s review identified significant issues with GMP’s handling of the complaints and identified several outstanding lines of inquiry. The watchdog first received a referral from GMP in November 2020 regarding the loss of clothing stored as evidence in the case. Another referral was made in February 2022 following a complaint about GMP’s failure to disclose the criminal histories of two key prosecution witnesses at Mr. Malkinson’s trial.
Focus on Specific Complaints
Amanda Rowe stated that the IOPC’s investigation would focus on the specific allegations raised in Mr. Malkinson’s complaints. The investigation will be conducted independently of the police. However, it will not review the original criminal investigation, as the IOPC lacks the authority to do so. The IOPC is in communication with the government regarding its broader inquiry into the wrongful conviction, aiming to align their efforts to ensure a comprehensive examination of GMP’s actions.
Independent Public Inquiry Ordered
In the previous month, Justice Secretary Alex Chalk ordered an independent public inquiry into the circumstances and handling of Andrew Malkinson’s case. Documents from the case reveal that police and prosecutors were aware of forensic testing in 2007, which identified a searchable male DNA profile on the rape victim’s vest top that did not match Mr. Malkinson’s DNA. However, no match was found on the police database at the time, and no further action was taken. Mr. Malkinson’s efforts to seek review and appeal his case faced obstacles, including concerns about costs.
GMP has not yet provided a comment on the matter.