Australia strawberry contamination accused ‘motivated by spite’

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Canberra, Nov 12 (IANS) An Australian woman accused of hiding sewing needles inside strawberries in a high-profile sabotage case was motivated by spite, a court heard on Monday.

My Ut Trinh, 50, was arrested on Sunday following a nationwide police investigation that began in September, the BBC reported.

Trinh had worked as a supervisor at a strawberry farm north of Brisbane, according to Queensland Police.

The court in Brisbane heard that Trinh’s DNA had been found on strawberries in the state of Victoria.

“The case that is put is that it is motivated by some spite or revenge… She has embarked on a course over several months of putting a metal object into fruit,” Magistrate Christine Roney said.

The maximum prison term for contaminating goods in Australia was recently raised to 15 years.

Trinh faces seven counts and has not said whether she will fight the charges.

The police said there had been 186 reports of needle-contaminated strawberries since September though 15 turned out to have been hoaxes.

It was not yet clear how many of those Trinh is alleged to have caused.

The first cases emerged in Queensland where a man was taken to hospital with stomach pains after eating strawberries.

–IANS

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