Freedom has come at last to Andrew Mallard!
In a surprise move, one week out from the directions hearing to determine if Andrew was to go to a re-trial - the DPP has formally dropped the murder charges against Andrew. He was released from Casuarina Maximum Security Prison in Western Australia at 6.20pm on 20 February 2006. Just short of 12 years of unjust imprisonment has come to an end."

Andrew's family always believed he was innocent. A legal and support team has developed around them who are outraged that the criminal justice system failed a vulnerable young man with no history of violence. Fact sheet

On Monday May 23, 1994 Pamela Lawrence was bludgeoned to death at Flora Metallica, her store in the Perth suburb of Mosman Park. What followed was a police investigation and criminal prosecution that have now been called into question.

The Mallard team found enough fresh evidence to reopen the case. The Attorney-General of Western Australia, the Hon. Jim McGinty referred the matter back to the Court of Criminal Appeal on 21 July 2002 based on the legal evidence collected by the team. This appeal unfortunately was lost.

This left the family, friends and legal team with a feeling of disbelief.

There were so many facts withheld from the court in the trial that they felt at the very least, the Court of Criminal Appeal ought to have ordered a retrial.

Andrew has a large base of supporters who are convinced of the need for his case to be properly re-examined.

The application for special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia was lodged and a hearing took place on 28 October 2004. The application was successful and the hearing for the appeal against his conviction was heard in the High Court of Australia on 6 and 7 September 2005. The hearing went very well with Andrew's lawyers arguing that crucial evidence was witheld from the defence team in the trial which could well have changed the jury's decision.

The Justices of the High Court handed down their unanimous decision that the conviction be quashed and ordered a re-trial.

Meanwhile, Andrew Mallard remains in prison, now an accused person - no longer a convicted criminal. The Director of Public Prosecutions is yet to make his decision as to whether the Crown will proceed with a retrial.

Andrew's large base of supporters are convinced of the need for his case to be properly re-examined.

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The story of Andrew Mallard

Andrew Mallard has been languishing in Western Australia's highest security prison for almost ten years for a murder he didn't commit.

He was supposed to have bludgeoned a popular mother-of-two to death with a blunt object.

Yet there is compelling evidence to show that he did not commit this murder. There is not a strand of DNA or drop of blood linking Andrew to the scene and a key piece of evidence about the possible weapon was kept from the defence. There were other suspects the police chose to ignore.

42-year-old Andrew Mallard spends his days locked up in Casuarina Maximum Security Prison because of the events over ten years ago when on the stormy afternoon of 23 May, 1994, Pamela Lawrence was bludgeoned to death as she closed up her jewellery store in the leafy suburb of Mosman Park, a suburb in Perth, Western Australia. The attractive and creative businesswoman, who was popular in the area and appeared to have no enemies, was killed with a blunt object in a frenzied attack. Police and forensic experts were shocked by the extreme violence of the crime. Puzzled by an apparent robbery in which no cash or jewellery were taken, detectives were immediately under pressure to solve the case.

Andrew Mallard, the son of a British Army Staff Sergeant who'd recently returned to his adopted home in Perth from a trip to the UK, was one of 136 men around the area on the initial witness list. He bore a vague resemblance to an identikit picture and was staying in nearby council flats where many of the unemployed hung around and smoked dope. Something of a Walter Mitty, who lacked self-esteem and never felt he could live up to his father, Andrew would tell people his name was "Andre" and he was a rock star from London, or an undercover detective for MI5. He had no record of any violence but had become known to police for small-time and petty offences. Unlike most of the others on the suspect list, he had no prove-able alibi for the time of the murder.

As the police came under more and more pressure to solve the crime, with television news reporting every night on its apparently senseless and extremely violent nature, they interviewed each suspect without a solid alibi. They interviewed Andrew several times at Graylands psychiatric hospital where Andrew was receiving treatment for a bi-polar disorder. They were unsatisfied with his confused recollections of where he was on the day of the murder. As soon as he was released from the hospital, detectives convinced him to come alone to an interview room. There, with two detectives, Andrew kept telling them he knew nothing of the murder, had never met Pamela Lawrence, but they kept insisting he must know something. They showed him photographs of the wounds and helped him draw diagrams of the jewellery shop. They kept him for eight hours - sometimes cajolling, sometimes threatening and forcing him to strip naked - and then released him into the night. A full week later, after other leads dried up, they pulled him in again for another session.

Appealing to his Walter Mitty character, they encouraged him to tell them what he thought the killer did and help them solve the crime. The result was a video interview lasting 20 minutes, in which Andrew states that he wants to clear his name and then the police say he "confesses" in the third-person. "He would have done this" and "The killer must have done that". It's "my conjecture", he says at the end of the video.

More than a month later, with Andrew back in Graylands psychiatric hospital, the police arrest him for the willful murder of Pamela Lawrence. They claim that the hours and hours of unrecorded interviews - conducted in a room with video facilities that were conveniently switched off - were actually confessions. The detectives' notebooks - unsigned or witnessed - were filled with statements Andrew was supposed to have made, with information "only the killer could have known". (And the police, of course.) They found no weapon, they found no blood on Andrew, they found no DNA from Andrew at the scene. But the police said he had "confessed".

1994 When the murder was committed, in May 1994, it was legal for detectives to take down statements or “confessions” in their notepads and have their unsigned contents admitted into court. By the time of the trial, in 1995, a law had been passed in parliament stating that these confessions were unsafe and could not be relied on. However, as the legislation had not been ratified by the Governor, the so-called "confessions" were allowed in - virtually unchallenged. Andrew's legal aid lawyer struggled with the complex case and even conceded that he needed a senior counsel to help him - but the judge refused. The trial rolled on and the jury - who were not even given alternative theories by the defence - had little choice but to convict.

By the time another lawyer got hold of Andrew's case for an appeal, in 1996, the video confession legislation had become law - but it could not be backdated. Despite acknowledging that this case hinged on confession, and confession alone, the Supreme Court appeal judges could not see a reason for detectives to lie and dismissed the prospect that they may have. The High Court judges said that since the legislation about unrecorded confessions was now in effect, there was no point of law for them to examine. Andrew's legal avenues closed.

Once the appeals had failed, Andrew Mallard coped in the only way he could. As murderers and rapists around him rioted and attempted to burn down the prison, Andrew went "inside himself" and refused to even communicate with his family. He had always protested his innocence - reporters recorded his shouts of having "the wrong man" to the judge as the sentence of life imprisonment was passed - but now he had lost all faith and hope. The prison records show a quiet and withdrawn inmate. The only record in his disciplinary file illustrates his thoughts: Prisoner Mallard found cutting out the MOJ (Ministry of Justice) emblems from his towels. Prisoner says he will continue to do so until we believe he is innocent.

Outside the prison, Andrew's family refused to give up. His father, Roy, used his military discipline to go through every word of transcripts and statements to prove his son's innocence. His mother, Grace, and his only sister, Jacqui, watched as Roy blamed himself for Andrew's predicament and, after a couple of years, succumbed to cancer. Alone after Roy's death, with Andrew refusing to take their visits or to even believe that his father had died, the two women re-approached the barrister who had taken the appeal, Mark Ritter. Ritter said the only hope was to find fresh evidence and convince the State’s Attorney-General to send the case back to the courts. If they could do that, and he had a proper defence, Ritter was confident Andrew would not be convicted twice.

In 1998, Ritter sent the women to Colleen Egan, an experienced journalist who had heard claims many times of women who believe their sons could never have committed a crime. But after viewing the bizarre third-person "confession", and seeing the holes in the case as she worked through the transcript, Egan agreed to investigate further. Working full-time at television stations and newspapers, Egan gave up the case twice in frustration. But she kept taking it back, and spent her nights and weekends testing evidence and gathering new leads. Working alongside Ritter, Jacqui, and then two students and prison chaplain Rob Devenish, who eventually all came on board, evidence finally started to emerge.

The country's foremost polygraph expert, Bill Glare, tested Andrew and believes that he tells the truth when he says he did not commit the murder. Similarly, hypnotist Rick Collingwood who regressed Andrew back to the day of the crime is sure he is innocent. The state's most eminent QC, Malcolm McCusker, says the confessional evidence makes Andrew's a terribly unsafe conviction.

The team found fresh evidence about the murder weapon - a sample of paint taken from a nearby forklift that matches unexplained paint flakes in the wounds in Pamela Lawrence's head - that was never presented at trial. The sample, which was taken by police but never passed on to Andrew's lawyer, could not have come from the weapon Andrew supposedly used.

But that one extra clue was not quite enough, so the team approached Labor Government MP John Quigley, whose considerable legal skills and experience had been honed for more than two decades as the police union lawyer before he entered politics. The idea was for Quigley - a passionate and convincing advocate - to help argue to Attorney-General Jim McGinty that this case should go back before the courts. The team figured that if they could convince the policeman's friend, they could convince anyone.

Quigley read every word of the trial transcript and then took up the case with gusto, appalled by the conduct of the trial. Equipped with an abundance of energy and invaluable insider knowledge of police investigations, Quigley sought out more fresh evidence - and found it.

Drawing on Andrew's memories along with the investigation team's findings that a mystery police officer was somehow involved in the case, Quigley pieced together a whole section of evidence never known to the Mallards: during the week between the first police interview and the second, the police ran an extensive undercover operation. The operation gleaned nothing that could be used against Andrew but there was plenty that could have worked in his favour - so, against proper practice, the police and prosecutors simply withheld the fact from the court.

Quigley found that, incredibly, they also withheld the findings of the state's chief forensic pathologist, Clive Cooke, regarding the murder weapon. Cooke's findings did not fit with the theory advanced at trial that Andrew used a wrench to kill Mrs Lawrence - so, once again against proper practice, they kept the information from the jury.

This information - new to the Mallards but old news to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the police - convinced the state's solicitor general and Mr. McGinty in July 2002 to send the case back to the Court of Criminal Appeal. The CCA finally sat in June 2003 - 5 days had been allowed for the hearing - but it soon became clear this was not enough time to hear all of the complex issues uncovered by Andrew's legal team.

Legal Aid was only able to provide very limited assistance, barely sufficient to pay the fees of some expert witnesses, Malcolm McCusker QC and Dr. James Edelman agreed to act as senior and junior counsel for Andrew, free of charge. Likewise, the firm of Clayton Utz provided, free, the services of a number of fine lawyers to assist.

All did so, not because of any personal or emotional involvement (Mr. McCusker and Dr. Edelman had never met Andrew) but because their objective view, arrived at independently, was that there had been a serious miscarriage of justice.

However the CCA denied Andrew's appeal. The Court of Appeal referred to the lawyers for Mallard as having gone on a "fishing expedition". They appear to have been referring to the success of the lawyers in uncovering the information kept from Andrew's lawyer and the jury at his trial: Mr McCusker QC was criticised by the Court of Appeal, for having said that there was "deliberate concealment" of evidence important to the defence of Andrew. But neither the police nor the DPP suggested that the non-disclosure was accidental. What the Court called a "fishing expedition" was the excellent work by Andrew's appeal lawyers in uncovering additional information and evidence which had been kept from his trial defence lawyer and the jury.

In the closing submissions at the appeal, Mr McCusker said that there had been deliberate concealment of information that would have been helpful and relevant to the trial defence.

This prompted a response by Mr Fianacca of the DPP. Mr Fiannaca did not explain why such information had not been disclosed.

The appeal judges ruled that lie detector tests were not admissible as evidence. This ruling seems highly inconsistent with police practice where polygraph testing is used and where the results of such tests are released to the media where persons of interest (suspects) fail the test - even in the absence of charges against these people. Examples are the Claremont serial killing suspect and a person suspected of involvement in a killing on a freeway bridge.

So if Andrew didn't do it, who did? The team has uncovered information about suspects who were on the list of 136 - and some who possibly weren't. There is clear evidence that once the detectives decided Andrew was their man, they did not look at other suspects who could have been the murderer.

Fact Sheet.
  • Pamela Lawrence, a popular mother of two, was bludgeoned to death around 5pm on 23 May 1994 in her jewelry shop on Glyde St, Mosman Park (Flora Metallica is now a pizza shop).
  • The timeline of the day that Pamela Lawrence was murdered is far from conclusive in putting Andrew at the scene.
  • Initially the police had no suspects and 136 persons of interest.
  • Andrew was first interviewed at Graylands. When he gave the Police several alibis that did not check out (he gave them events of different days, not 23 May), they brought him in for questioning.
  • There is no forensic evidence against Andrew. No blood, no DNA, no fingerprints, no footprints.
  • The weapon was never found.
  • Andrew had never met Pamela Lawrence.
  • There were no eyewitnesses who identified Andrew. (The only person claiming to see anyone in the shop at the relevant time was Pamela Lawrence's co-worker's schoolgirl daughter, who helped with an identikit. She did not pick Andrew out of a line up, or a photo board, and did not identify him in court as the man she saw.)
  • Andrew was convicted on the evidence of the police alone - a fact conceded by the prosecution.
  • Tricked into believing he was accompanying police to collect his clothing, and fresh out of Graylands, Andrew was interviewed by Detective Caporn and Detective Emmett on 10 June 1994. The interview lasted eight hours - not one moment on tape. Andrew has consistently alleged that he was stripped naked, twice, and assaulted during that interview.
  • Released after being charged with assault police (he bit Caporn's leg, allegedly while in a headlock).
  • Brought in on a bench warrant from that charge - to CIB headquarters instead of the court - he was interviewed for a second time by Detectives Brandham and Carter. Again with no lawyer, he was there for three hours - 20 minutes of which was on video.
  • 20-minute video presented as a "third-person confession" - the only evidence against him.
  • Andrew appointed in-house Legal Aid lawyer Patrick Hogan, who failed to stop Caporn and Brandham's accounts of 11 hours of unrecorded, unsigned "confessions" being allowed into evidence in court.
  • Andrew applies for a QC to help Mr Hogan but is denied by Justice Murray, who doesn't want to change the trial date.
  • November 1995 Andrew convicted of wilful murder.
  • Sentenced to "strict security life" - 30 years in prison.
  • First possible parole application - 2012.
  • September 1996 - Appeal by barrister Mark Ritter to the Court of Criminal Appeal denied. Judges believed that police would not fabricate confessions. Nonetheless, they chastise Caporn for not recording the eight-hour interview and instruct to video all confessions in future.
  • 1997 - Application for special leave to the High Court denied. In the 15 minutes allocated, Mr Ritter argued that the unrecorded confessions should not have been allowed. The High Court noted that since WA police were now required to video confessions, there was no point of law.
  • Andrew has maintained his innocence throughout - even in the video "confession".
  • Andrew has no history of violence.
  • Andrew had one "break-in" on his record - he was arrested on the day before the murder for posing as an undercover detective to force the door of a nearby flat in Mosman Park. He was trying to impress the girl he was staying with by retrieving her belongings from the flat. That episode was how Andrew came to be in Graylands, was one of the factors that led police to him and was heavily exploited at trial.
  • Andrew turned 43 in August 2005. He is in Casuarina Maximum Security Prison Perth, Western Australia.
  • Andrew was granted a reference by Jim McGinty to the Court of Criminal Appeal so he can have his conviction quashed.
  • Andrew passed a polygraph test in March 2001 by Australia's foremost polygraph expert, Bill Glare and the second with Steven Van Aperen of Polygraph Australia in July 2003. In both instances the examiners found that Andrew was truthful in his replies to their questioning."
The Mallard team, working towards a hearing before the Court of Criminal Appeal which was granted by Attorney General Jim McGinty on the 21 July 2002 has found that;
  1. The implement claimed by the prosecution to be the murder weapon- a Sidchrome wrench - could not have killed Mrs Lawrence. Testing by Western Australia's chief forensic pathologist, Dr Clive Cooke, showed that the profile of the wrench was not compatible with the shape of the wounds found on Mrs Lawrence.
  2. Evidence not presented Dr Cooke also remembers telling "police inquiry officers and the Crown" ahead of the 1995 trial that he considered a different implement to a wrench was the likely weapon but was ignored.
  3. The Sidchrome wrench Dr Cooke was not shown a sketch made by Andrew of the Sidchrome wrench until eight years after it was drawn and as a result was not able to test whether the weapon fitted the profiles of Mrs Lawrence's head injuries for the prosecution.
  4. Where did the weapon come from? The court was never told about evidence that a paint sample from a forklift matched paint flakes in Mrs Lawrence's wounds, evidence which suggests that the actual weapon could have been taken from the premises next door to Flora Metallica.
  5. Undercover officer gives Andrew marijuana. The court was never told about four days an undercover officer spent with Andrew, during which Andrew says he was supplied with marijuana.
  6. Police withheld Andrew from a court by taking him to a three hour interview instead of to a magistrate when arresting him on a bench warrant.
News Articles and Information

  • Click Here for Andrew Mallard Blog
  • Mallard to be exonerated today
  • Mallard misery worth millions
  • Man free after decade in jail
  • I thought the system was out to get at me
  • Innocent victims hit back
  • Released man vows to solve murder case
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