A man who maintained his innocence as he spent 17 years in jail for rape has secured a major breakthrough in his bid to clear his name.
Andrew Malkinson was jailed in 2004 after being found guilty of raping a 33-year-old mother-of-two next to the M61 in Little Hulton, near Manchester, a year earlier.
There was no DNA evidence linking the former security guard to the case.
And the jury, who convicted Malkinson on a majority verdict, were asked to rely on an identity parade and witness testimonies to make their decision.
The former security guard, now 55, was only released last December, having spent an extra ten years past his original tariff because he refused to admit the offence.
Malkinson continues to fight to clear his name. And, according to the Sunday Times, his lawyers have now claimed a major breakthrough.
Lawyers from APPEAL, who are championing Malkinson’s case, say they have new DNA results which shows male DNA found on the victim – including under her finger nails – did not belong to him.
And now they say that further tests have shown the DNA did not belong to the victim’s then boyfriend, which they say means ‘the attacker is still at large’.
Andrew Malkinson was jailed in 2004 after being found guilty of raping a 33-year-old mother-of-two next to the M61 in Little Hulton, near Manchester, a year earlier
Emily Bolton, Malkinson’s lawyer and the director of Appeal, told the Sunday Times: ‘The DNA results are clear: another man was responsible for the crime for which Andy Malkinson spent over 17 years wrongly imprisoned.
‘This is not simply a matter of justice, but also of public safety.’
The High Court has now granted Mr Malkinson’s application for a judicial review of the case.
Alongside the new DNA evidence, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has also reportedly admitted it misled the court at the time by presenting two of its key witnesses as honest – despite having 16 convictions between them.
The pair claimed they were able to identify Malkinson near to the scene of the attack.
In granting permission for a judicial review, the High Court ruled last week that there had been an ‘arguable error in law’ over the force’s refusal to disclose more information about the witnesses.
A spokesperson for GMP told MailOnline in a statement: ‘We acknowledge that the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, has granted Mr Malkinson’s application for a judicial review of issues arising from this case.
‘The implications of this decision are being considered by a Chief Officer, in consultation with our legal services advisor.
‘It should also be noted that as a formal complaint has been registered with our Professional Standards Branch in relation to the actions of officers at the time of Mr Malkinson’s trial, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.
The High Court (pictured) has now granted Mr Malkinson’s application for a judicial review of the issues arising from the case
‘We will of course cooperate with any further review of this case which may be conducted by the Criminal Cases Review Commission and we are keeping the Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester updated with developments.’
Malkinson’s victim, who cannot be identified, said she was ‘more than 100 per cent certain’ that he was her attacker.
He was three inches taller than her initial description of the suspect.
She also told police she left a ‘deep scratch’ on her attacker’s cheek – however Malkinson was not seen with one when arrested.
It also would have meant that DNA from his skin would have likely been under her nails – though the DNA was last year found not to be a match with Malkinson.
Because of his conviction, he remains on the sex offenders’ register, restricting many areas of his life – including his ability to travel.
Registered sex offenders are required by law to keep police in touch about their overnight whereabouts.
He told the Sunday Times: ‘I’ve always known I’m innocent.’
On his current life, he said: ‘I’m not free. I’m not in jail but I’m certainly not free.’