DNA lab error accused innocent man of rape in the UK

Private firm LGC Forensics falsely associated a man in a rape case and caused him be held for several months.

Adam Scott was charged in October 2011 with raping a woman in Manchester, after LGC Forensics failed to follow basic procedures for the disposal of plastic trays used in the DNA extract process, and human error led to his being charged.

The rape charges on Scott were eventually dropped in March 2012, when it was confirmed that the DNA sample was contaminated.

The BBC reported that Forensic Scientist Regulator Andrew Rennison said Scott was an “innocent victim of avoidable contamination.

Rennison’s report stated that, “It is estimated that the chance of obtaining matching DNA components if the DNA came from someone else unrelated to Adam Scott is approximately one in one billion (one billion is one thousand million). In my opinion the DNA matching that of Adam Scott has most likely originated from semen.”

Rennison said that the procedures were not adequate and that the records were not maintained properly by the technicians. He cited that used trays were not marked to indicate that it was already used.
Scott disclosed in a statement that he was angry that he was wrongly accused and that the false allegations had caused him and his family great pain.

A spokesperson for LGC Forensics told the BBC, “The Forensic Regulator and the United Kingdom Accreditation Service have expressed their satisfaction with our investigation into the incident, the corrective actions and LGC’s overall contamination avoidance and checking processes.”

Should LGC Forensics be shut down until they have fully proven worthy and reliable to run forensic analysis again?

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