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Colne soldier thrown out of the Army over drugs is cleared
12:00pm Saturday 6th October 2012 in News
A SOLDIER who was kicked out of the army after a mix-up with drugs test samples has been cleared at a court martial.
Sean Warren-Beck, from Colne, was just 21 when he was booted out of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
He has now been exonerated after DNA tests proved a drugs tainted sample was not his. And he is now set to have his discharge records altered to reflect the findings of the hearing.
A court martial at the regiment’s HQ in Catterick, North Yorkshire, heard Mr Warren-Beck was dishonorably discharged from the Army three years ago after a compulsory drugs test appeared to show he had taken cocaine, which he denied.
He took the test alongside L/Cpl Anthony Molloy, who allegedly admitted to a sergeant shortly beforehand that he had taken the class A drug two days earlier.
Mr Warren-Beck, 24, set out to prove his innocence and DNA tests showed that the samples had been switched.
An investigation was launched and L/Cpl Molloy was accused of switching the samples.
Both men were members of the 2nd Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment when they were tested.
L/Cpl Molloy, 29, had denied conduct prejudice of good order and military discipline by switching his compulsory drug testing urine sample with another.
Prosecuting at the hearing at Catterick, Captain Chris Adair said: “This was a deliberate attempt to evade the repercussions of a drugs test”.
Both men were tested at the Regiment’s headquarters at Fulwood Barracks, Preston in August 2009.
But former Kingsman Warren-Beck, who appeared at the court marshall as a witness, claimed he heard the NCO tell a sergeant shortly before the test that he had taken cocaine two days earlier.
When he returned from leave Mr Warren-Beck was told his sample had tested positive for cocaine and he was discharged from the Army.
“I knew it was not right because I had not taken any drugs,” he said.
Although he was planning to quit the Army anyway, he said he took matters further to clear his name.
Molloy is said to have become ‘visibly upset’ when told the results of the analysis. He had agreed to the DNA tests after denying doing anything wrong.
Capt Adair told the hearing: “The ultimate effect of switching the samples was the premature discharge from the Army of another soldier.”
The two men were tested when an Army drugs test team arrived at the barracks.
Both men gave samples at the same time but it was alleged that instead of taking his own sample to be tested, Molloy took his colleague’s.
And when the results came back it showed that cocaine was present in Warren-Beck’s sample and despite him protesting his innocence, he was kicked out of the Army.
Capt Adair said: “He was convinced that his sample had been swapped.” and claimed that L/Cpl did it “to deliberately evade the repercussions of the drugs test”.
The case was halted following legal arguments and the Assistant Judge Advocate General Paul Camp instructed the three-man panel to acquit L/Cpl Molloy.
It is understood the Army is now in the process of restoring his discharge records to reflect the absence of wrongdoing Mr Warren-Beck..
They are also understood to be considering paying compensation as he was discharged months before he planned.
An Army source said that despite the result of the court martial, L/Cpl Molloy could still face disciplinary action from his regiment for drugs misuse.