Lab worker jailed for forged urine samples

A former laboratory assistant faces a one year jail sentence for helping WA mine workers get around illegal drugs testing.

Michelle Leanne Marsden, 41, forged urine samples of three men as a favour when she was a staff member of PathWest’s Tom Price collection centre.

She pleaded guilty to numerous corruption and drug charges in the District Court in relation to the events, along with possession of heroin, cannabis and a smoking device.

Police and the Corruption and Crime Commissions also found Marsden received $500 and asked for drugs from a CCC officer during an integrity test, The West Australian reported.

Adam Corey Woodard, 34, also faces a 10-month jail sentence and an 18-month suspension after pleading guilty to corruption for organising a substitute urine sample for Marsden.

Theron Charles Clifford, 41, and Steven William Hibbert, 60, pleaded guilty to the same offences in the past and were fined $5000 each.

Presiding judge Andrew Stavrianou said safety was being compromised if people operated machinery while under the influence of drugs.

Last year Australian Workplace Drug Testing Services worked on a range of specialist tests aimed at tackling the complex matter of drug testing, including fake urine or urine that has not come from the subject.

Managing director Tony Graham said the Beat the Cheats program targeted the rising number of cases of drug cheats.

Australian Mining reported there was an increase in synthetic urine in the Pilbara as workers tried to dodge drug tests.

Police inspector Peter Morrissey said police are finding more of the fake urine in people employed in mining.

The nation’s peak mining bodies demanded harsher regulation on synthetic drugs last year in a bid to crack down on their use in Australian mines.

It came as bikies were in the spotlight last year when a WA Health Department official and the Gypsy Joker gang faced corruption charges over plans to meddle with urine tests so bikie members could get mining jobs.

A joint investigation by WA Police and the Corruption and Crime Commission discovered the scheme to get around the mining industry’s stringent drug testing procedure.

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