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Met forensic scientist cleared of misconduct in public office

Ursula Collins was charged in relation to eight criminal investigations between 2009 and 2018; three of the charges were dropped, while she was acquitted of the remaining five on December 21.

A Met Police forensic scientist charged with misconduct in a public office after allegedly jeopardising eight criminal investigations has been acquitted.

Ursula Collins stood trial at Southwark Crown Court accused of “knowingly neglecting her duties” in relation to investigations carried out between 2009 and 2018, which included five separate allegations of rape, driving whilst unfit, robbery, and a shooting.

The judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence on three counts at the conclusion of the prosecution case following submissions of no case to answer.

The 43-year-old, from Mitcham, south London, was acquitted of the remaining five counts on December 21.

Prosecutor Deanna Heer KC had told the jury that Collins had “knowingly neglected her duties” as a reporting officer.

She said: "The prosecution case is not that Ursula Collins set out intentionally or deliberately to obstruct justice or to pervert police investigations into criminal offences.

“The prosecution case is that she knowingly neglected her duties as a reporting officer and, in some cases, actively misled other people, in the knowledge that by doing so there was a risk that she would misconduct herself and thereby undermine the integrity of police investigations into crime.”

Following the verdict, a spokesperson for the CPS said: “It is not the function of the CPS to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for the criminal court to consider.

“The decision to charge was made following detailed consideration of the evidence and it was right that the jury considered this case. We respect their decision.”

The Met has confirmed that "any misconduct proceedings will now be considered" following the conclusion of the criminal case.

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