Toby Wilbraham, Specialist Criminal Defence and Appeals Solicitor, considers the police investigation into Randox Testing Services
The forensic testing company, Randox Testing Services Ltd (RTS), based in Ireland, is currently being investigated by the police over forensic testing irregularities. Randox analyses blood, saliva and hair samples on behalf of police forces across the UK.
Manipulated Forensic Evidence
It seems that two employees, based in Manchester, have been arrested by Greater Manchester Police, suspected of perverting the course of justice. They are believed to have manipulated test results while working for Randox. This could have resulted in miscarriages of justices if convictions were based on flawed forensic evidence.
Details of exactly what is alleged are not yet clear but Randox have said the manipulation was of quality control data supporting test results, rather than the samples themselves. It said no alcohol samples were affected, and some tests could be “rerun to provide robust, uncompromised results”. Randox stated that the issue had come to light as a result of an internal investigation at its Manchester site.
Outsourcing of forensic testing
All forensic testing for criminal prosecutions used to be conducted by the independent state run Forensic Science Service, until 2012 when it was shut down by the Government. Since then forensic testing has either been outsourced to private companies or in house by police officers. This was seen as a cost cutting measure and concerns have been voiced about the quality and impartiality of the testing since the change.
The situation echoes one recently seen in Massachusetts in America where, after similar cost cutting measures, Annie Dookham, a chemist, accepted falsifying evidence in over 30,000 cases, leading to her imprisonment.
Randox is cooperating with the investigation by the Police. It was believed that initially the flawed results were limited to blood toxicology results for ‘drug driving‘ type cases from 2014 onwards. Now it seems that the investigation has widened looking at more serious criminal cases such as rape and murder cases.
It seems that in a lot of the cases where there is a potential issue, samples have been retained and can be re-tested to see if the initial finding was accurate. In a lot of cases however the samples have been destroyed and are not able to be re-tested. In these cases there is a potential appeal point as the original test may be flawed.
How can I tell if Randox was involved in the forensic testing in my case?
If you or someone you know has been convicted based upon potentially flawed forensic evidence we could look into this on your behalf. You can tell if Randox has been involved in a case by checking the Streamlined Forensic Report (SFR) to see if the Forensic Laboratory Reference has “Randox” or “RTS” on it or if they are named on the bottom of the form.
Specialist Criminal Appeal Solicitors (London & Manchester)
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