fbpx

Hair Strand Drug Testing

Family and Children

In the case of Bristol City Council v A Mother and others [2012] two conflicting expert drug testing reports were received by the court.

The case concerned a local authority who bought care proceedings in respect of children whose mother was allegedly abusing cocaine.

The mother underwent hair strand testing by the firm Trimega which showed she had been taking cocaine right up to the sample being taken.  The mother strongly denied this and was given permission to obtain a second test on a sample of hair taken at the same time.  The result of the second test showed that the mother had not taken drugs for the previous four months.

Trimega conceded there had been human error in its testing and the clear test was therefore adopted as the correct test.  The court ruled that it was not the appropriate forum for an inquiry into the discrepancies of the expert evidence on hair-strand testing.  The jurisdiction of the court was to determine specific disputes about specific families.  It was not to conduct general inquiries.

The court also concluded that hair-strand testing was necessary in making the correct decision on the future of children.  The science was well established and not controversial.  In this case the discrepancy had been accepted as human error and the integrity of the science was not affected.

Family Solicitors and Lawyers Eastbourne, Hailsham, Polegate, East Sussex

If you would like advice on family and children matters please contact our Family Law Department for a free initial appointment on Eastbourne 01323 727321 or Hailsham 01323 841481.

Nicholas Dennis
Nicholas Dennis
Alexandra Funnell
Alexandra Funnell
Guy Brown
Guy Brown
Carolyn Richards
Carolyn Richards