Queensland woman faces court over strawberry needle crisis
Written by Josh Agnew on November 12, 2018
A 50 year old Queensland woman faced the Brisbane Magistrates court today after being charged with 7 counts of contamination of goods, between September 2nd and 5th, with the intent to cause economic loss.
The first discovery of strawberries contaminated with needles was on September 9th, and Trinh has known she was a person of interest from September 12, the court heard.
The 2 month long investigation into Queensland’s strawberry sabotage was broken open by information from Victoria Police, after the woman’s DNA was found in a punnet of strawberries in Victoria, which is expected to form a part of the police’s case.
She was arrested on Sunday in Brisbane, more than two months after Queensland Police fronted the media to warn about the strawberry contamination. The court heard the woman was allegedly acting out of spite, and that it was an act of sabotage.
The woman is a former Strawberry farm employee, a supervisor at the Berry Licious farm in Queensland. According to the Australian Associated Press, Ms Trinh’s lawyer, Michael Cridland, made a bail application but later withdrew it.
Prosecutor Cheryl Tesch opposed bail as there was “an unacceptable risk of witnesses being interfered with”.
Trinh will remain in custody until her next hearing, which is scheduled for later in November.
The offence normally carries a three year maximum penalty, however, police allege there is a circumstance of aggravation, meaning the maximum jail term could be increased to 10 years.