Graeme Swann blood sample 'may be tainted'

A blood sample taken from England cricketer Graeme Swann when he was allegedly drink-driving may have been contaminated, a court heard today.

The off-spinner's trial resumed today after his successful winter with the national team.



Swann was a key member of the side that won an Ashes series in Australia for the first time in 24 years.



He is in England's Cricket World Cup squad but has not travelled to Bangladesh as his wife is due to give birth.



He appeared at Nottingham Magistrates' Court today wearing a dark-coloured suit, shirt and tie.



The trial, which started in August but has faced several adjournments due to Swann's cricketing commitments, has heard he was stopped by officers on patrol in the West Bridgford area of Nottingham on April 2.



The court previously heard he had drunk three or four glasses of white wine earlier in the evening to celebrate his birthday.



When he returned to his £350,000 detached house in West Bridgford, he found one of his and wife Sarah's two cats - called Max and Paddy - stuck under the floorboards after builders had been working on their home.



Unable to find a screwdriver to undo the floorboards, Swann decided to drive his new white Porsche Cayenne to the nearest 24-hour Asda to buy a set of screwdrivers, the court heard.



His solicitor Phillip Lucas previously argued there was no case to answer on the grounds that of two samples of blood taken that night, it was the second that was analysed when the first was suitable for testing.



That second sample showed Swann's blood had 83mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, which is over the legal limit of 80mg.



But in December District Judge Julia Newton decided the trial should go ahead.



Today defence expert Dr John Mundy, a forensic alcohol consultant who previously worked for the Metropolitan Police's laboratory, said the blood sample may have been contaminated.

He said sometimes samples could be contaminated by the rubber bungs used in the vials, which may have happened, especially if the nurse who took the sample, Lisa Hodgkinson, had "agitated" the blood by moving it up and down.

Dr Mundy said: "If you get a bung that has contaminants - and they do have contaminants, I have seen quite bad contamination - that can get into the blood and as such can interfere with the alcohol analysis one way or another."



He said the contaminants could add to the alcohol reading, making it higher than it really was.



"It means that it would add to the alcohol amount because you have a small area of contaminant adding to the large area of alcohol and that would cause the alcohol to go up."



Asked by Mr Lucas, defending, if that could give an elevated result, he said: "That's correct."



The court previously heard that Ms Hodgkinson took a second sample of 8ml of blood from Swann as she feared her first sample of 2ml was not enough.



But today Dr Mundy said the first sample would have been adequate.



He said tests could be carried out on as little as 0.24ml of blood.



The court heard that samples are split into two for tests, but Dr Mundy said technically the first 2ml sample could have been used as 1ml was "ample".



He said: "I think this sample should have been sent to the laboratory.



"As the day-to-day head of the Metropolitan Police laboratory, if this had been done in the daytime, which this wasn't, obviously, an officer would have phoned me up and said 'Will this be OK?' and I would have said 'Yes'."

But under cross-examination from prosecutor Tara Kelly, Dr Mundy said the more blood that was taken, the better it would be as it would allow latitude for re-testing.

He said: "If I was pushed, I would recommend 4ml to be split into two bottles, that's 2ml per bottle.



"But obviously I am not suggesting that's the minimum amount suitable for analysis but the more you have, the easier it is for the sample to be split and it's easier for the analyst to have more blood there."



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones