Teenager wrongly accused of rape because of DNA contamination is released from prison
Mr Scott was arrested in Devon and taken to Manchester for questioning
He continually denied the allegation and insisted he’d never even been to the city
London laboratory LGC has apologised for the error
Other rape and murder cases could have been compromised
A teenager who spent months behind bars wrongly accused of rape after a DNA blunder has spoken of his ‘relief, anger and disgust’ after the charge was dropped.
Adam Scott, 19, was due to stand trial next month in connection with a sex attack on a woman at Plant Hill Park in Blackley.
His DNA – taken in connection with a separate matter – had contaminated a sample from the victim while being processed at a laboratory run by LGC Forensics.
Mr Scott, from Truro in Cornwall, is now considering taking legal action – and his lawyers are calling for a public inquiry into the blunder, which could lead to other rape and murder cases being reopened.
Mr Scott was arrested in Devon about three weeks after the October 2 rape and brought to Manchester after the results of the compromised DNA test were sent to cops.
During interview he insisted that he had never even been to Manchester.
But LGC, a company used by Greater Manchester Police to carry out scientific testing in thousands of cases a year, insisted there was a definite match.
Mr Scott was charged despite his denials. At the time he had been on bail for an unconnected matter of affray.
After being charged with rape he spent nearly three months on remand, before beginning a year-long sentence for the affray.
Earlier this week, after finding out the evidence was contaminated, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) formally dropped the case at a Manchester Crown Court hearing.
Mr Scott was stunned to find out what had gone on via videolink from prison in Exeter.
He said: ‘I am relieved that I have been found not guilty – but then I always was not guilty. I defended the allegation from the moment of my arrest.
‘I am angry that I was falsely accused. I am angry about the amount of pain it has put me and my family through.
‘I sincerely hope that justice comes for the victim and that the true rapist is caught.
‘I am disgusted that it has taken this long for them to work out what went wrong. I now want to move on with my life and put this horrible experience behind me.’
Adam’s mother, Michelle Scott, said the allegation had left her ‘distraught’.
She said: ‘I never for one minute believed he was guilty. I’m really glad the truth has come out – but how they managed to contaminate the evidence is beyond belief.
‘I am very angry that my son has had to live through this experience and suffer the shame of being accused of being a rapist, whilst being locked up in prison.’
GMP has already begun an internal review of a small number of murder and rape cases in which DNA evidence assessed by LGC played a crucial role.
The scope of that probe may be extended in coming days or weeks. London-based LGC, which works for police forces across the country, has also started its own internal investigation, which might mean reviewing scores or even hundreds of cases.
The company has apologised and said it had ‘taken steps to ensure that it [the mistake] cannot happen again’.
Rundlewalker, the Exeter-based law firm representing Mr Scott, said they were ‘utterly astounded’ by the failings that led to his arrest, charge and detention for the rape allegation.
In a statement the firm said: ‘Had his case proceeded to trial and had the jury accepted the DNA evidence, he would have received a significant custodial sentence.
‘We remain fearful for any defendant indicted on DNA or other scientifc evidence that has been processed, is being processed or will be processed through LGC’s laboratory. We call for a public inquiry into the failings reported.’