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."



PROMOTED VIDEO
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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links