Police inspector says DNA probe into Queensland forensic lab murder reportedly solved after sample retested

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A murder last November was reportedly solved after police resubmitted samples to Queensland’s troubled forensic testing laboratory for further analysis after scientists initially determined they were “insufficient for further processing”.

Queensland Police Service (QPS) Inspector David Neville has told an inquiry into the government-run laboratory that out of 33 homicide samples initially labeled “DNA insufficient for further processing”, 10 came back with profiles after police asked to be retested.

Inspector Neville said one of those samples taken from the unnamed murder victim’s calf had returned a usable DNA profile which had identified “the accused”.

But he said when he initially raised the matter with Catherine Allen, a senior manager in Queensland Health’s Forensic and Scientific Services, highlighting his concerns about thresholds for DNA testing, he was told: “This was an aberration.”

A preliminary report by inquiry leader Walter Sofronoff KC, released last week, found that between early 2018 and June this year, laboratory scientists gave “false” or “misleading” testimony about the detection of DNA in some samples from the crime scene.

Sir. Sofronoff found that under an agreement between Queensland Health and the Queensland Police Service, crime scene samples that did not contain amounts of DNA above a certain threshold were not processed further and were reported in testimony as having “insufficient DNA for analysis”.

He said this was despite the possibility of obtaining “an interpretable profile”.

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