Drug-driving conviction thrown out as police probe 450 cases over forensic test manipulation

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HUNDREDS of criminal cases are being reviewed after fears forensic tests were manipulated at a laboratory.

Hampshire police confirmed 456 cases are under review after police started an investigation at Randox Testing Services. Up to 10,000 cases across the country may have been affected, it has been reported.

A drug-driving conviction was thrown out at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court as Greater Manchester Police continues its investigation into the scandal.

The case, dating back to December 2015 in Barncroft Way, Havant, was opened and withdrawn by prosecutors leaving the 27-year-old defendant, who had been convicted of drug-driving, free to walk from court.

‘We can confirm we have 456 cases being reviewed to determine whether they have been affected by the quality failure,’ a Hampshire police spokesman said.

‘We are working closely with the national co-ordination team to prioritise cases and carry our further re-testing to establish whether the results are correct.’

‘We are also working with the Crown Prosecution Service to review any potentially affected cases.’

Earlier this month RTS said the investigation had spread to laboratories not connected to its business.

The alarm was raised after RTS probed an anomaly in a forensic report then reported its findings to police.

Two men, 47 and 31, are on police bail until November.

Five other people, two women and three men have been interviewed under caution.

An RTS statement said: ‘RTS are working with Greater Manchester Police, the Forensic Service Regulator and the Home Office to resolve the situation. The investigation now dates beyond RTS to laboratories which are unconnected to it. However, it was RTS action that identified this activity.’

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said: ‘We continue to work with the Home Office, police and the Office of the Forensic Science Regulator to assess the impact of issues relating to Randox Testing Services.

‘As there is an ongoing police investigation into these issues, it would be inappropriate for us to comment in detail. Our priority is to establish the impact of these issues on both completed and ongoing cases, to ensure appropriate action is taken.’