A man wrongly accused and charged with raping a woman was the “innocent victim” of an avoidable mistake, the forensics watchdog said today.
Adam Scott was arrested and held in custody for months after a plastic tray containing a sample of his DNA was re-used in the analysis of a swab from a rape victim in Manchester by private firm LGC Forensics.
Forensic science regulator Andrew Rennison said Mr Scott, from Devon, was an “innocent victim of avoidable contamination“.
It also emerged that the same error happened at least once before, on October 12 last year, the report added.
“The contamination was the result of human error by a technician who failed to follow basic procedures for the disposal of plastic trays used as part of a validated DNA extraction process,” he said…
“These errors were compounded by the failure at LGC to consider the possibility of contamination despite concerns expressed by the investigating officer about the reliability of the DNA profile.”
He went on: “It is unlikely that the case against Mr Scott would ever have proceeded to trial and, in the absence of any further evidence, the case would probably have been discontinued.
“However, this is of little comfort to Mr Scott who was charged on October 23 2011 and remanded in custody on this case until it was withdrawn on March 7 2012…”
LGC said it “deeply regrets the incident of contamination”, blah, blah, blah.
Results from the best science in the world still must run the gauntlet of human beings who may or may not be capable of maintaining legitimate standards. The procedures for checking quality in this case were as useless as the test.