Former Solicitor General Calls for Public Inquiry into Wrongful Conviction

A former solicitor general has called for a public inquiry into the wrongful conviction of Andrew Malkinson after it was revealed that key DNA evidence was available 16 years before he was cleared of rape. Lord Garnier KC, who served as David Cameron’s first solicitor general, described the miscarriage of justice in Malkinson’s case as “jaw-dropping”. He believes a public inquiry is necessary to establish where the justice system went wrong.

In 2007, it was discovered that another man’s DNA was present on the victim’s clothes, three years after Malkinson was wrongly convicted. Despite this revelation, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) did not order further forensic testing or refer the case for appeal in 2012 due to concerns about costs. Lord Garnier believes that full disclosure of every document related to the case is needed, with the exception of those that would impede the prosecution of a new suspect. He suggests that a public inquiry should be conducted within six months to determine what went wrong, who knew about it, and when.

Lord Garnier expressed disappointment in the CCRC’s lack of interest in new evidence, questioning the purpose of the organization if they fail to investigate important questions. He finds it distressing that cost was a deciding factor in not pursuing the case, especially considering the significant financial and personal costs Malkinson has endured. Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, also expressed concern over Malkinson’s treatment and emphasized the need to uncover the truth of what happened.

The case of Andrew Malkinson raises serious questions about the justice system and undermines public confidence in the CCRC. Lord Garnier believes that a thorough shake-up of the system is necessary and hopes that the chairman of the CCRC can provide answers to address these concerns.