TV & Showbiz

BBC to air new documentary about Andrew Malkinson’s ‘fight for freedom’ after wrongful conviction

'The Wrong Man: 17 Years Behind Bars' will tell the story of an innocent man who was "failed at every turn" by the criminal justice system.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 4th June 2024

A new BBC documentary is to tell the story of Andrew Malkinson’s “fight for freedom and justice” after being wrongfully convicted.

The hour-long programme will tell the deeply-personal story of an innocent man who was “failed at every turn” by the criminal justice system and ended up spending 17 years behind bar for a crime he didn’t commit.

If you’re unfamiliar with Andrew Malkinson’s story, it all started on the morning of 2 August 2003 when he received a knock on his door.

It was the police, and they were there to arrest him for the violent attack and rape of a young woman in Salford – but the only thing is, Andrew was adamant he hadn’t done it, despite officers being certain he matches the victim’s description of the attacker.

As he was convinced everything would be cleared up once he gets to the police station, Andrew agreed to take part in a video lineup, but to his shock, the victim identified him in the lineup as the man who attacked her, and Andrew was subsequently charged with attempted murder and rape, before jury later found him guilty and sentenced him to life in prison.

BBC to air new documentary about Andrew Malkinson’s ‘fight for freedom’ after wrongful conviction / Credit: Sophia Spring (via APPEAL)

After spending 17 years on the sex offenders wing in HMP Frankland, and maintaining his innocence the entire time, the Parole Board agreed to release Andrew from prison, and then almost 20 years since his arrest, the judge at the Court of Appeal delivered his decision.

“Mr Malkinson, having waited so many years, you leave the court a free man, no longer subject to the conditions of your life licence,” the judge declared.


During the BBC documentary, which is titled The Wrong Man: 17 Years Behind Bars, Andrew takes centre stage to tell his story, and describes the devastating effect of those years in prison.

Filmed over a crucial three-year timespan, this powerful film has exclusive access to Andrew, his family, and his legal team to tell the extraordinary story of his fight to prove his innocence, from the moment of his arrest, right through to his exoneration at the Court of Appeal two-decades later.

“This film describes one of the most terrible miscarriages of justice of our time,” explained Emma Loach, who is the Lead Commissioning Editor of documentaries at the BBC.


“This was not only a devastating failure of the judicial system for Andrew, it has also neglected to bring justice for the victim of what was an appalling crime. The film goes behind the headlines and shows Andrew’s bravery and tenacity as he fights for his freedom and the terrible repercussions he is still facing today.”

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The Wrong Man: 17 Years Behind Bars airs on BBC Two this Thursday 6 June at 9pm, and you can watch it on BBC iPlayer after it airs here.

Featured Image – Ben Broomfield / APPEAL (via BBC)