The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Man arrested for rape after DNA blunder

A man was remanded in prison for five months on a charge of rape after a mistake was made processing his DNA for an unrelated incident

By

A forensic blunder that linked a man with a rape in Manchester has been criticised in a new report.

Adam Scott was due to stand trial in April for a sex attack on a woman in Plant Hill Park, Blackley, north Manchester.

The Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case during a hearing at Manchester Crown Court after it emerged Mr Scott’s DNA, which was taken in connection with a different matter, had been contaminated while being processed at an LGC Forensics-run laboratory.

Police arrested Mr Scott, form Truro, Cornwall, despite being hundreds of miles away from the scene and telling detectives he had never been to Manchester.

He then spent five months on remand in Strangeways prison charged with one count of rape.

A report that came out on 1 October heavily criticised LGC Forensics – the largest forensic science centre in the country – and said its procedures were ‘not adequate’.

According to the report, by forensic science regulator Andrew Rennison, Mr Scott was an ‘innocent victim of avoidable contamination’.

“The sole evidence was a partial DNA profile developed by LGC Forensics (LGC) at its Teddington laboratory and believed, at the time, to be from one sample taken from the victim of the rape,” said Mr Rennison in the report.

“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.