Charges dropped against scientist inhepatitis C case
HEPATITIS C sufferers infected by contaminated blood were left devastated last night after a prosecution against a leading scientist was dropped.
Biochemist Dr Cecily Cunningham, from Clontarf, north Dublin had been strongly criticised by the Findlay Tribunal over the making of the Anti D product.
But after years of investigations and failed court challenges to halt a trial, the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided not to prosecute the case.
It is understood a key witness, the scientist who devised the manufacture of Anti D, has died.
Positive Action, which supports those affected by the scandal, said its members were distraught.
“It has got to a stage unfortunately that it is 31 years since we were infected,” a spokeswoman said.
“Our members are devastate vans d. It basically means that no one will be charged, no one will be found accountable.
“Positive Action does not view the dropping of charges as vindication that charges should not have been brought in the first place.”
The DPP, who has suggested victims of crime have the right to explanations, did not comment.
It is understood senior detectives who have been involved in the case for several years will meet Positive Action next week to explain the decision.
The group’s 750 members were notified over the last few days.
The Department of Health also declined to comment.
More than 1,000 cases linked to the Hepatitis C scandal have still to be heard by a compensation tribunal set vans up by the Gove vans rnment in 1995.
The bill is eventually expected to top 1 billion.
Infections first became public in 1994, after a high incidence of hepatitis C among women who received the Anti D product was revealed.
Dr Terry Walsh, a consultant h vans aematologist and former assistant national director with the blood bank, was charged along with Dr Cunningham over the Anti D product. Dr Walsh died in 2006.