In 1994, Andrew Mallard stood in his police holding cell, as detectives pored over the details of the apparent murder of local jeweller Pamela Lawrence. Rattled, confused, the Western Australian man repeated the same words over and over to the guards: “I’m innocent. I’m innocent. I didn’t kill that woman. I’m innocent.” Their response was a predictable scoff: “Sure, mate. That’s what they all say.”
Only, this time, it was the truth.
Andrew spent more than a decade repeating that phrase; throughout his trial and conviction for killing the 45-year-old mother, during his sentencing and the 12 years he spent behind bars – “I’m innocent,” he said. “I’m innocent”. But it was only after the tireless work of investigative journalist, Colleen Egan, and barristers John Quigley MLA (the current WA Attorney-General) and Malcolm McCusker QC, that the justice system finally agreed. His murder conviction was quashed by the High Court and he was released in 2006.
But this week, having been free for just a year longer than he was imprisoned, Andrew Mallard was killed.
On the day we walked from Casuarina prison… Andrew Mallard, a free innocent man, wore Buddhist beads. May he find a next life that is kinder. RIP pic.twitter.com/PaW37P52vR
— Colleen Egan (@ColleenEgan1) April 19, 2019
Los Angeles Police Department on Friday confirmed the 56-year-old had died in a hit-and-run accident on the famous Sunset Boulevard. Andrew, who was in the city visiting his fiancee, was crossing the road when he was struck at around 1:30am Thursday. The LAPD are investigating the crime and have offered a reward of up to $US25,000 ($A35,000) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver.
Andrew’s sister, Jacqui Mallard, told The Australian she and her family are “devastated” after learning the news.
“He suffered injustice and spent almost 12 years in prison for something he didn’t do,” she said. “Those years were taken from him and now his life has been taken.”
The murder of Pamela Lawrence.
A storm had struck Perth on the afternoon of May 23, 1994. The sky was dark, branches littered the road, torn down by the strong winds. Katie Kingdon was driving home from university when she decided to stop in at her parent’s jewellery store, Flora Mettalica, in the suburb of Mosman Park. It was after 6pm, but they often worked late.
As Katie crested the hill on Glyde Street, she saw the ambulance.