Strawberry needles accused My Ut Trinh ‘acted in spite’, cou
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- Strawberry needles accused My Ut Trinh ‘acted in spite’, court hears
- Prosecutors fear a farm worker accused of spitefully sticking sewing needles into strawberries in a bid to financially hurt her employer could be subject to “retribution” if she is allowed to leave jail.
- Caboolture woman My Ut Trinh, 50, will be behind bars for at least 10 days after she withdrew her bail application during an appearance in Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday.
- Following a mammoth two-month police investigation, the picking supervisor was arrested and charged on Sunday with seven counts of contamination of goods with intent to cause economic loss.
- The court heard Ms Trinh was allegedly motivated by spite and revenge when she inserted needles into strawberries between September 2 and 6, triggering a wave of copycat crimes that brought Australia’s $400 million strawberry industry to its knees.
- Detectives behind the extensive investigation that led to the charges revealed yesterday they received 231 reports of strawberry contamination, starting on September 9 when a Queensland man bit into a strawberry with a needle in it.
- The original contamination sparked copycat crimes and hoaxes throughout the country and led to strawberries being taken off supermarket shelves and massive piles of fruit dumped.
- Prosecutor Cheryl Tesch said bail was “strongly opposed” because Ms Trinh was a flight risk, there was a “high risk of witnesses being interfered with” and there was a likelihood she could be the victim of “retribution”.
- Ms Tesch said the owner of the strawberry farm where Ms Trinh worked had suffered significant financial loss and reputational damage.
- Solicitor Michael Cridland withheld his client’s bail application until November 22 after magistrate Christine Roney said she was unable to grant bail until more information was known about the alleged offending.
- Ms Trinh, who was born in Vietnam but came to Australia as a refugee 20 years ago, worked at the Berrylicious/Berry Obsession fruit farm north of Brisbane as a picking supervisor.
- Mr Cridland said the alleged reason for Ms Trinh wanting to seek revenge was “not articulated” by the police.
- Arguing for bail, Mr Cridland denied she was a flight risk. “She has been aware that she has been a person of interest for over two months and she has not changed phone number or address,” he said. “I might add, other people working on these farms have left the country. She has not.”
- theaustralian . com . au/news/nation/strawberry-needles-accused-my-ut-trinh-acted-in-spite-court-hears/news-story/d4350b399c0f5f606cdc86cb5449a917
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