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Last Updated: Monday, 24 October 2005, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
Boss threatens DNA tests over gum
Tony Price
Office boss Tony Price said he watches 'a lot of television'
An office boss threatened his staff with DNA tests after chewing gum got stuck on a director's trouser suit.

Tony Price, managing director of IT firm WStore UK, was angry after he found the gum squashed under a desk.

He sent out a memo demanding his 80 staff in Farnham, Surrey, submit to the test to weed out the culprit.

However, after the plan was leaked to the media, Mr Price, 33, said he was only joking - but was angry at the breach of his gum ban.

Now he is pledging to hunt down the employee who alerted the press - by forcing workers to take lie detector tests.

Mr Price, who admits to being a fan of television detective dramas such as BBC's Waking The Dead, said: "Gum was a problem in the office.

Ex-smoker 'sucking mints'

"I found it once or twice around the office. Then it ended up on one of my directors' trousers."

He said: "I had already put a ban on chewing gum in place."

Since he threatened the lie detector tests, he said one woman had denied fixing the offending chewing gum to the desk but said that she would like to take a test because she thought she had found a way to get round it.

And another man leapt to the defence of chewing gum, saying he needed it because he was trying to give up smoking - but he has now taken to sucking mints, Mr Price said.

He added: "We are now waiting for a dry cleaning bill or the invoice for the replacement trousers."

Civil rights group Liberty issued a statement saying the move was not only "ridiculous", but could violate workers' private and family rights.

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