Drivers cleared of drug-driving in forensics lab testing scandal tell of '˜miscarriage of justice'

DRIVERS considering suing a forensic testing laboratory after their drug-driving convictions were quashed in an alleged manipulation scandal have spoken out at the damage to their lives.

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:41 am
Isobel Clarke and Sam Weaving outside Portsmouth Magistrates' Court after their drug-driving convictions were quashed in the wake of the drug testing scandal at Randox Testing Services

Both Isobel Clarke, 41, and Sam Weaving, 24, were banned from driving following their convictions in 2016 and 2017.

But at a brief hearing at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court these were set aside as the convictions were quashed.

It comes as 10,000 cases are being looked at after the start of a probe into rogue scientists at Randox Testing Services Laboratory in Manchester.

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Isobel Clarke and Sam Weaving outside Portsmouth Magistrates' Court after their drug-driving convictions were quashed in the wake of the drug testing scandal at Randox Testing Services

Mum Isobel, of Chaucer Avenue, was banned for four years and handed a suspended jail term after admitting driving while unfit through drugs, and two charges of driving while over a drug limit, cocaine and its by-product, on Station Road, Portchester on July 5, 2016.

Speaking to The News after the conviction was quashed Isobel said: ‘I’ve got mixed emotions really, I’m pretty angry.

‘It’s caused a lot of problems for me, it’s been a rough ride.’

Her convictions, sparked after police were called when she bumped into another vehicle, came just as she had finished a beauty therapy college course.

‘I’d just finished hairdressing, barbering, things were going really well,’ she said. ‘None of that has been pursued obviously, it’s caused black depression.

‘I can’t believe it’s actually happened – I should be glad it’s all been resolved.

‘But I’m not, I’m angry. It’s just a huge miscarriage of justice.’

Isobel had to sell her Nissan Almera due to the ban, which has been lifted.

Two people have been arrested and five others interviewed under caution over the alleged test results manipulation. No-one has been charged by police.

Sam Weaving, 24, formerly of Merchistoun Road, Horndean, but now of Midhurst, lost his job after he admitted driving while over the limit for cannabis – and was banned for 18 months in December 2017. A community order for a cannabis possession conviction remains.

He now hopes to file a civil claim against RTS.

He said: ‘I lost 17-18 months of work, thousands of pounds, and had fines.

‘It’s cost me so much time on the bus it’s unreal. I’m so happy now that justice has been served and I’m going to have my licence back. It was very rubbish to be the person affected by it.

‘You put your trust in tests and all of these courts to do the right thing and that the right people are found guilty and not guilty, and in this case it was 100 per cent proven that they made the wrong decision.’

Hampshire police last year said there were more than 400 cases being reviewed due to the scandal.

RTS has previously said it should be treated as a whistleblower and has co-operated with police.