Lab Assistant to Serve Jail Time for Forged Urine Samples for WA Miners

A one year jail term was handed down to a former laboratory assistant for her part in helping WA miners pass drug testing designed to identify the use of illegal drugs.


Michelle Leanne Marsden, 41, worked at PathWest’s Tom Price collection center when she granted a favour to three men by forging their urine samples.

When she appeared in District Court, Marsden pleaded guilty to numerous charges related to corruption, drugs, possession of heroin and cannabis as well as possession of a smoking device.

The West Australian reported that police and the Corruption and Crime Commissions determined Marsden had accepted $500 and also requested drugs from a CCC officer while undergoing an integrity test.

In addition to Marsden’s one year jail sentence, the three WA miners she assisted also received sentences and fines.

Adam Corey Woodard, 34, earned a 10-month jail term and an 18-month suspension. He pleaded guilty to a charge of corruption because he organized getting the fake urine sample for Marsden.

Theron Charles Clifford, 41, and Steven William Hibbert, 60, also pleaded guilty in court for the same offences in the past. They were each given a fine of $5000.

It is no secret that the safety of others may be put in jeopardy if mine workers are under the influence of drugs when they operate machinery. Presiding Judge Andrew Stavianou said as much in open court.

Fake urine or urine provided by someone other than the intended subject is a huge problem. Just last year, the Australian Workplace Drug Testing Services devised a group of specialized tests that should help in dealing with this complicated matter.

The ‘Beat the Cheats’ program targets those who would usurp the system according to Tony Graham, managing director of the Australian Workplace Drug Testing Services.

A recent report in Australian Mining revealed that a rise in the use of synthetic urine had been discovered in the Pilbara where workers were keen to avoid drug tests.

Peter Morrissey, a police inspector says the police have noted a rise in the number of fake urine samples used by those working in mining industry jobs. Top mining bodies in the nation have demanded the institution of tougher regulations in an effort to crack down on the use of synthetic drugs which can be so devastating to mine workers’ safety.

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