Start your claim

November 22nd 2017

Civil Liberties

Dropped prosecutions relating to ‘manipulated’ forensic evidence could lead to hundreds more cases being overturned

Simon Wilson

Simon Wilson

Head of Inquest Services Group & Senior Solicitor

Dropped prosecutions relating to ‘manipulated’ forensic evidence could lead to hundreds more cases being overturned

It is highly significant that around 50 drug-driving prosecutions have been dropped because of concerns that original test results may have been "manipulated".

It is highly significant that around 50 drug-driving prosecutions have been dropped because of concerns that original test results may have been “manipulated”.

It comes as a major investigation continues into forensic samples allegedly being manipulated at a company working for police forces across the UK.

Concerns were first raised in February when investigations were launched at Randox Testing Services in Manchester, and two men were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

At the time we were told around 484 cases in which people had been prosecuted could result in convictions being quashed.

Now, we are told the number of cases affected is around 10,000, with 42 forces across the UK having sent its data for analysis to the Manchester-based company which is under investigation.

Two cases in which people were convicted over road deaths already look to be heading towards the Court of Appeal.

And as specialists in supporting people who feel their human rights have been breached at Hudgell Solicitors, we are currently advising a number of people in relation to this ongoing matter.

Retests have only scratched surface of potential scale of injustice

Although the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) has been keen to stress that the vast majority of cases involved traffic offences such as drug driving (around 75%), others do involve prosecutions relating to violent crime, sexual offences and unexplained deaths.

We are told a total of 1,500 retests will have been completed by the end of the year, but to get through the huge retesting programme could take as long as three years, and even then not all samples under question will be able to be re-tested, as some are no longer viable because of their quality or quantity.

Given many of the 50 cases dropped so far were due to go to trial, this situation could result in thousands suffering from breaches of their human rights, based on unsafe and tampered with evidence.

Innocent people could find themselves wrongly on detained on remand, or living under strict bail conditions whilst suspicion hangs over them.

Even driving allegations can have a big impact on their lives and that of their families.

Courts not prepared to wait and backlog cases could dismiss them

James Vaughan, from the NPCC, has stressed that not all courts are now prepared to wait for the requests for proceedings to be adjourned, which I imagine will lead to more cases being dropped.

So, ultimately we could have a situation where the innocent are wrongly being prosecuted and under suspicion, and those guilty of crimes walk free because the evidence can no longer be relied upon, or cannot be prepared for court in time.

Alongside this, concerns have also been raised about thousands of drug test results relied on by the civil courts to determine issues such as child custody and employment cases, whilst the NPCC says a potential data manipulation is being investigated at another laboratory, potentially impacting on child protection and family court cases.

It is quite simply a disgraceful and entirely unacceptable situation which will do serious harm to public trust in our legal system.

What Our Clients Say

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Highly recommended"

Excellent service and communication from start to finish. The whole process of handling my personal injury claim was dealt with quickly and courteously.

MikeNovember 26, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Becci was amazing"

Becci was amazing, she was so friendly and helpful and couldn’t have done a better job at helping me with my claim. Very happy.

Katherine JanineNovember 08, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Quick honest service"

Quick honest service, smooth process with excellent staff

MR COOPEROctober 30, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"HUDGELL SOLICITORS are great lawyers…"

HUDGELL SOLICITORS are great lawyers whit amazing customers service. I got pretty good deal only because of them I'm quite happy I chose Hudgell solicitor.

DominikOctober 30, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Good all round service"

Good all round service

John AndrewOctober 19, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Efficient"

Quick, efficient service provided by Jayne Woodock. Would definitely contact Hudgell Solicitors again in the future if the need arises

KerryOctober 10, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Thank you"

I have never had to go down the route of claiming for anything like this so when I was advised to do so I did some research and Hugell Solicitors caught my eye. And I’m so glad I picked them, everything was explained well and helped with any questions I…

ZoeOctober 04, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"No problems from start to finish for my…"

No problems from start to finish for my claim.Kept updated regularly and a good outcome even though the defendants were being evasive. Thanks.

r3monkeyOctober 03, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent"

Very professional,efficient service,informative and friendly service. I would highly recommend Hudgell solicitors.

HelenOctober 01, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Good experience"

Good experience

Margaret ElizabethAugust 31, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent"

Friendly, helpful and professional.

M J JAugust 09, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"I would recommend this firm of…solicitor to anyone"

I would recommend this firm of solicitor to anyone I have had a 5 star treatment from Jayne woodcock I cant praise her enough she kept me informed every step of my claim and I cannot thank her enough excellent Jimmy Mcdermott

Jimmy McJuly 28, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Very helpful and thorough"

Very helpful and thorough. The team kept me updated throughout. Thank you

EsmeJuly 25, 2019