Woman denies perverting course of justice over hair sample switch

A woman who pretended to be another woman, and dishonestly sent off her own hair for testing on her behalf, has denied perverting the course of justice.

 Manik-Niwana, of Queen Mary Avenue, London, denies a single charge of perverting the course of justice
Manik-Niwana, of Queen Mary Avenue, London, denies a single charge of perverting the course of justice

The jury heard a woman was involved in proceedings at Telford’s family court in 2017 and she was ordered to provide samples of her hair for it to be tested for traces of drugs and alcohol.

When an employee of the testing company came to her home in Telford in October that year for the agreed-upon appointment, the door was answered by Amy Manik-Nawani, who lives in London but was staying at the address at the time.

Manik-Nawani, now 46, told the sampler she was the woman.

When she was asked for photographic evidence of her identity she replied that she did not have her passport with her, but provided a bill with the woman’s name on instead.

The sampler took some of her hair and photographed her before leaving. It quickly became apparent that the wrong person’s hair had been taken when another person involved in the family court case was sent the photograph.

Prosecutor Mr Ian Ball said that Manik-Nawani admitted in interviews that she had pretended to be the woman and gone along with the hair sample.

However, she denied knowing that there was any court order in place, saying that she impersonated the woman on the “spur of the moment” and regretted it.

She denies a single charge of perverting the course of justice and her trial began at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Thursday.

A jury was sworn in in groups of four, in line with coronavirus restrictions.

Manik-Nawani, of Queen Mary Avenue in London, is represented in court by Miss Chiara Maddocks.

The other woman has already pleaded guilty.

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