Trio’s hair swap plot foiled

Image: File photo.
Image: File photo.

The woman, who was sentenced last Wednesday at the District Court, took hair samples from her 24-year-old daughter after she feared her own hair might show she had used marijuana.

Concerned the positive tests could affect her ability to retain custody of her son, the woman bought a test kit and submitted her daughter’s hair for testing with the help of a 37-year-old friend who was a laboratory assistant at PathWest.

The test was signed and sent to South Australia to establish a chain of custody but the plan came unstuck when the woman’s former partner discovered PathWest did not do drug tests on hair samples and reported the matter.

The woman, her daughter and the 37-year-old friend were all charged by the Corruption and Crime Commission with fabricating evidence with intent to mislead a court.

Judge Michael Bowden said the offence struck at the heart of the justice system.

Judge Bowden said he accepted the three women acted out of genuine concern for the 10-year-old and were unlikely to offend again, but said the offence was serious and could have seen them jailed for 10 years.

The former PathWest employee was sentenced to one year in jail, suspended for 18 months due to the fact the woman had already lost a much-loved job which she held for 10 years and was the sole carer of her 11-year-old daughter.

Judge Bowden fined the 27-year-old daughter $5000 after he found she had initially declined to help her mother and had felt compelled to act even though she knew it was wrong.

All names have been withheld for legal reasons.