Criminal Cases Review Commission
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Chairman of Criminal Cases Review Commission Offers Unreserved Apology to Andrew Malkinson Following Review Report

Following completion of a report from the independent review by Chris Henley KC into the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) handling of the Andrew Malkinson case, CCRC Chairman Helen Pitcher OBE has offered Mr Malkinson an unreserved apology.

Helen Pitcher yesterday 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.”

It is the CCRC’s intention to provide Mr Malkinson with a copy of the report and to make the findings public.

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.”

Note to Editors

  1. There will be no media interviews at this time.
  2. Mr Henley’s final report was received by the CCRC on 5 April 2024.
  3. Helen Pitcher’s apology was sent to Mr Malkinson via his representatives on 16 April 2024.
  4. The CCRC is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for independently investigating suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.    
  5. There are currently 10 Commissioners who bring to the CCRC considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Monarch on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.  The Chairman, who is also a Commissioner, is not involved in the casework decision-making process.    
  6. The CCRC usually receives around 1,500 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Since starting work in 1997, the CCRC has referred around 3% of applications to the appeal courts.    
  7. The CCRC considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal.  Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.    
  8. If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.    
  9. More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at The CCRC can be found on X/Twitter @ccrcupdate and Instagram the_ccrc


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