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."



Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
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

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'