Living costs for wrongfully convicted prisoners unfair, Sunak says

It comes amid concerns that Andrew Malkinson, who spent 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit, faces deductions from any compensation.

Rishi Sunak believes it is unfair that prisoners who were wrongly convicted should have to pay back living costs for their time locked up, Downing Street has said.

It comes amid concerns that a man who spent 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit faces deductions from any compensation for his board and lodging.

Andrew Malkinson, 57, was wrongly 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, but his conviction was quashed by senior judges at the Court of Appeal last week after DNA evidence linking another man to the crime came to light.

Asked about concerns that living costs could be taken off any compensation Mr Malkinson receives, the Prime Minister’s press secretary said there is an independent board that reviews and then makes the decision.

She told reporters in Westminster on Monday: “In principle, for someone who is wrongly convicted, I don’t think the Prime Minister thinks it would be fair for them to have to repay costs, particularly as they have wrongfully been kept in prison for something that they didn’t do.”

The current rules can be traced back to a 2007 ruling by the House of Lords, at a time when it was the country’s highest court.

Mr Sunak “has been speaking with the Home Office and others in Government to establish the facts and to make sure the approach is right and fair,” his press secretary added.

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