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Trials (Scientific Witnesses)

Volume 109: debated on Saturday 2 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the cases involving scientific witnesses from the Home Office laboratory at Chorley which have been referred to the Court of Appeal since 1979.

There have been five such cases apart from the Birmingham pub bombings case. The five cases were among 11 referred to the Court of Appeal in 1984, all of which involved evidence given by the former forensic scientist, Dr. Alan Clift. The five cases which related to Dr. Clift's work at the Chorley (or, formerly, Preston) laboratory were:

Geoffrey Mycock, convicted of murder, housebreaking and larceny on 7 February 1969 at Preston;
Dieter Otto Schnepel, convicted of murder on 20 October 1970 at Manchester;
Michael Szpytma and Alan John Sample, convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on 22 November 1971 at Liverpool:
Melvin Harrison, convicted of murder on 27 July 1972 at Liverpool;
Norman Berry North, convicted of manslaughter on 9 May 1973 at Preston.
Mr. Schnepel abandoned his appeal, and Mr. Harrison's appeal was dismissed. The convictions of Mr. Mycock, Mr. Szpytma and Mr. Sample were quashed.