Pathwest DNA review to stretch back 15 years

Pathwest DNA review to stretch back 15 years

A REVIEW will be conducted into Western Australia’s forensic testing centre’s DNA results stretching back 15 years after a wrongful burglary conviction.

Innocent man Alan Staines was wrongly convicted of a 2004 burglary charge when DNA found at the scene of a home invasion was wrongly identified as his.

The State Government today announced a review into the Forensic Biology Department of PathWest will examine a random sample of results 2002 to 2017.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the probe, and Mr Staines’ conviction, was troubling.

“I am deeply concerned that breaches and errors by PathWest have compromised evidence and in one case lead to a wrongful conviction,” Mr Cook said.

“The Public Sector Committee review will consider the adequacy of internal and external communication mechanisms in relation to routine results and where breaches of protocols have occurred.

“It will identify and report on any non-compliances or breaches which are found to have occurred and make recommendations for improvements to governance, management, training and probity controls to enhance the services provided as they pertain to the integrity of forensic results.

“All Western Australians need to have confidence in PathWest’s ability to deliver high quality forensic services.”

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