News

Needle plan not new, court hears

By Country News

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’’.