Telford woman found guilty over hair switch for drug testing

A woman who pretended to be another and dishonestly sent off her own hair to be tested in a court case has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Amy Manik-Nawani, 46, answered the door when a testing company employee arrived at the other woman’s house in Telford for an appointment to take a sample of her hair, so that it could be tested for traces of drugs.

Manik-Nawani said that she was the woman whose hair was supposed to be tested and allowed the sample-taker to take strands of her own hair and photograph her.

The lie quickly unravelled when the photograph was shown to someone else involved in the court case.

Both women were interviewed by the police – the Telford woman who was impersonated pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice but Manik-Nawani, of Queen Mary Avenue in London, denied knowing that there was any court order in place.

She went on trial at Shrewsbury Crown Court, having pleaded not guilty.

'Desperate'

Her decision to take the other woman’s place was characterised by her counsel, Miss Chiara Maddocks, as a “spur of the moment, desperate act”.

The jury heard from the testing employee who described meeting Manik-Nawani in October 2017 and taking her hair, having been assured by her that she was the woman involved in the court case.

When asked for photo evidence, she said she did not have her passport but instead provided a bill with the other woman’s name on it.

Manik-Nawani also gave evidence in the trial, and she maintained her defence that she did not know court proceedings were ongoing.

The jury found her guilty of perverting the course of justice.

She will be sentenced on October 23.

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