Tainted DNA Causes Unsafe Rape Convictions
Concerns have been raised by respected police doctors that DNA used to secure rape convictions may be tainted, leading to unsafe convictions.
Dr Steven Hopkins said he is desperately concerned that “there may well be some innocent person in prison who should not be there” and urged for old cases to be reviewed by criminal defence solicitors.
This comes as the Forensic Science Regulator drafts new guidance on the collection of intimate samples in rape cases due to allegations that doctors have been placed under pressure to work in ways that have actually been increasing the risks of contamination.
DNA is incredibly sensitive and vulnerable to being tainted, to the extent that asking the same doctor to take DNA samples from both the suspect and victim can pose a high residual risk. There are many other procedural errors and contamination risks that can cause a DNA sample to become tainted.
Dr Hopkins further alleges that the new DNA 17 sampling technique is so sensitive, he considers that the risk of a sample being contaminated using this procedure is ‘very high’ – information that will be difficult to hear for families with a loved one in custody for a rape they have always denied. This new focus can, however, provide hope for those families as it may present grounds for Appeal.
When thisevidence is presented innocently in a case, tainted DNA causes unsafe rape convictions.
If you have a historic rape conviction, or one of your loved ones are serving a sentence for a rape conviction while maintaining their innocence, you should have the case reviewed without delay. Forrest Williams are specialist rape solicitors and our award-winning team would be delighted to help you review all options.
Call our dedicated legal team now on 01623 397200.