Cathie Allen led the DNA lab that was plagued by scandal as a result of a decision taken in 2018 to test DNA samples in a way that resulted in low-level DNA samples being deemed as “DNA insufficient for further processing” and often led to inconclusive results.
Last year, Allen had recommended low-level DNA samples should go straight to amplification rather than be micro-concentrated which was widely considered to be best practice in order to cover her tracks.
The whistle was blown at Queensland’s Forensic and Scientific Services lab in 2021 and eventually led to the commission of inquiry headed by Walter Sofronoff KC.
At the commission of inquiry, Counsel assisting Michael Hodge SC squarely accused Ms Allen of lying.
Cathie Allen lied about her the probity of her role in the 2018 change in DNA samples testing, lied about deliberately providing false information, lied about covering her tracks and lied about whether she was lying.
Sofronoff KC found that Allen had tried to cover up her “grave maladministration involving dishonesty” using a “deliberately crafted series of lies and misleading dodges”.
Her conduct recalls Sir Walter Scott’s words in “Marmion”:
“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive”.
Finally. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
The debacle Allen caused continues to plague the Qld’s justice system with 10,000 cases awaiting analysis in a severe backlog.
The lab, which has 60 full-time equivalent lab staff and 21 reporting scientists, is now reviewing thousands of sexual assault cases dating back to 2008.Posted on