PARENTS

Mum Almost Had Child Taken Away After Drink Test Error

14/08/2014 16:55 | Updated 22 May 2015

Woman drinking alcohol. Symbol: alcohol abuse, addiction

A faulty medical test almost resulted in a mum having her child taken away from her.

Social services were threatening to take the child into care because of the mother's heavy drinking, but changed their minds when she made 'dramatic progress'.

However, a medical report based on test results supplied by Trimega Laboratories suggested the woman had started abusing alcohol again.

Sitting in the family court, judge Sally Williams said the blood alcohol test report from Trimega contained a mistake, and that the company had 'admitted the error and apologised'.

The Telegraph reports that Trimega agreed to pay £17,000 costs incurred as a result of the court's wasted time over the case, but wanted the judgement to be kept private.

Judge Williams refused, saying the case was in the 'public interest', and adding family court should be as 'open and transparent as possible to improve public confidence and understanding'.

"In this case, expert evidence was relied upon and, if the mistake had remained undiscovered, it is probable, given the history in this case, that it would have led to the adoption of the child instead of rehabilitation to care of her parent," she said.

"Close scrutiny of expert evidence is needed and all the surrounding circumstances have to be considered in a situation such as this where the interpretation of test results was so important and influential."

The judge said she accepted the mistake was 'human error' and said she was 'reassured' that the discovery led to the company following new procedure where further specific checks were made.

She added that the mum has now been granted a residence order for her child.

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