"DNA FARCE: WHITE MAN CHARGED IN HUNT FOR BLACK RAPIST," BY: ARTHUR MARTIN
A white man who was wrongly charged with rape even though the victim said her attacker was black described his "nightmare" ordeal for the first time, recently.
Mark Minick feared he would lose his girlfriend and children and contemplated suicide after he was charged on flawed DNA evidence.
Yet despite being cleared of all allegations, the 26-year-old is suffering the "final injustice" of still having to wear an electronic tag.
It was fixed to his right ankle as a condition of bail when he was charged last October with raping the teenager seven years ago.
For four months he has been under virtual house arrest between 11pm and 7pm. If he broke the curfew the tag would have set off an alarm and he could have faced jail.
Mr Minick, a father of two, told the Daily Mail: "I'm a free man and everyone knows I didn't rape that poor girl.
"But here I am, forced to stay at home at night because the security company hasn't come round to take the tag off.
"It is a terrible way to treat an innocent man who was charged with a crime he did not commit. But after the way I've been treated, I'm not in the least bit surprised."
He spent yesterday frantically calling the security firm which attached the tag to remove it.
Mr Minick was arrested by "cold case" detectives reinvestigating an attack on a 17-year-old girl in Bexleyheath, Kent.
At the time, he was nearing the end of a year's prison sentence for robbery.
It was a crime which he bitterly regrets and which was committed during a low point in his life shortly after his mother died of cancer three years ago.
He said the conviction made him an easy target for detectives desperate to solve the crime. During hours of questioning, three police officers claimed they had watertight DNA evidence linking him to the attack.
They told him one of his hairs had been found on the victim's ring. But they did not mention her statement describing her attacker as "black, large and tall."
Mr Minick is 5ft 6in and slim. His only visit to Bexleyheath was during a shopping trip as a child with his mother.
"These allegations came like a bolt out of the blue and I began to suspect that a former lover was trying to set me up," he said.
"I only discovered a lot later that the girl first noticed the hair when she was in bed in hospital.
"I was working as a hospital porter at the time and I was constantly moving beds and blankets. Perhaps this is how the hair got into her ring.
"I can understand that the police would want to question me because of my hair.
"But to charge me with rape when they have the victim describing the rapist as black beggars belief. I would have been happy to take part in an identity parade, but they never asked me to. Now I know why."
After he was charged, he made a tearful phone call to his girlfriend explaining the situation.
She stuck by him and has helped him cope with the depression he has suffered since.
"I really thought she was going to leave me and I feared I would never see my two children again," said Mr Minick.
"There were times when I felt suicidal. I didn't think my family would want to see me again."
On Thursday at Southwark Crown Court, the prosecution admitted that it had no evidence against Mr Minick.
Source: Arthur Martin @ The Daily Mail