An innocent man spent months wrongly accused of rape because of a blunder at Britain's largest private forensic science testing centre, an official report revealed yesterday. Despite warnings of DNA contamination at the laboratory less than two week earlier, Adam Scott was arrested and held in custody — even though he had been hundreds of miles from the scene of the crime. His case prompted calls for an inquiry into the effectiveness of the privatised DNA-testing regime since the Government closed its loss-making Forensic Science Service this year. Mr Scott's DNA, retrieved from a "spitting incident" in Exeter, was mixed up during analysis of genetic material taken from a rape victim in Manchester. According to a report by the forensic science regulator, Andrew Rennison, Mr Scott was an "innocent victim of avoidable contamination" and "human error" by a technician at LGC Forensics. A plastic tray containing a sample of Mr Scott's DNA, which had been taken for an unrelated matter, should have been disposed of but was re-used in the analysis of a swab taken from the rape victim.
How DNA contamination can affect court cases | New Scientist
See Outbreak Investigation Report. In its published Outbreak Investigation Report, the health department defined the outbreak victims as follows:. The health department investigation revealed that cross contamination from contaminated ground beef may have been the outbreak source, as a number of victims had not eaten ground beef products. The role of cross-contamination as the source of other major E. Independent events of cross-contamination from beef within the restaurant kitchens, where meats and multiple salad bar items were prepared, were the most likely cause of four separate chain-restaurant associated outbreaks in Washington and Oregon in August,
An investigation began on Friday into a blunder by a private forensics company that led to a man being charged with a rape in a city he claims never to have visited. The forensic science regulator, Andrew Rennison, is examining how the error was made by LGC Forensics and how many other cases it may affect. This week the rape case against Adam Scott was dropped by prosecutors. Scott, from Exeter, Devon, was charged with a rape that occurred in October in Manchester, miles away. Police sources say he was not a suspect until samples from the crime scene were sent to LGC.
By Linda Geddes. Handle with care. This New Scientist article, usually accessible only to subscribers, is made available for free by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney, Australia. Would you believe him? Read on before reaching your decision.