Nee­dle plan not new, court hears

Shepparton News - Country News - - OPINION -

A Queens­land woman ac­cused of spark­ing a na­tional food safety panic by in­sert­ing nee­dles into straw­ber­ries al­legedly men­tioned the idea of do­ing so two years ear­lier.

My Ut Trinh, 50, has been granted bail after be­ing charged with food con­tam­i­na­tion of­fences. Po­lice al­lege they iden­ti­fied her DNA on a nee­dle found in a straw­berry pun­net in Vic­to­ria.

Prose­cu­tors al­lege the for­mer straw­berry farm su­per­vi­sor was seek­ing re­venge for a work­place griev­ance when she con­tam­i­nated the fruit.

She al­legedly told a co-worker: ‘‘If I hate any­one, I would put the nee­dle in the straw­berry and make them go bank­rupt’’, Bris­bane Mag­is­trates’ Court heard on Novem­ber 22.

The co-worker claimed she made the com­ments ‘‘one or two years ago’’.

Trinh’s lawyer Nick Dore ar­gued the ev­i­dence was cir­cum­stan­tial and state­ments against her were ‘‘lit­tered with hearsay and in­nu­endo’’.

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