Woman Fronts Court Over Strawberry Scandal
A Queensland woman has faced the Brisbane Magistrates Court, accused of sticking needles into strawberries and sparking a major industry crisis.
My Ut Trinh, 50, was arrested and charged on Sunday night with seven counts of contamination of goods.
Her DNA was found on a punnet of strawberries in Victoria, after she provided the sample two weeks ago.
Ms Trinh, who was born in Vietnam but came to Australia as a refugee 20 years ago, was working as a supervisor at the Berrylicious and Berry Obsession farms in Queensland.
She sat silently on Monday as a court was told she was motivated by some "spiteful revenge" and it was a "highly unusual" and "peculiar" case.
Ms Trinh's lawyer Michael Cridland launched a bail application on her behalf, but was forced to withdraw it following advice from the magistrate.
Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker said it was one of the most trying investigations and police had been working tirelessly on the case for two months.
"We were never going to say never, as I said we received great assistance throughout the investigation from numerous agencies and we just didn't give up," he said.
Police were also able to reveal the extent of the crisis today.
There were 231 reports of contamination in Australia.
186 of those involved needles in strawberries.
77 incidents were reported in Queensland, but 15 were hoaxes.
"It's 231 reports, Australia-wide, so it's a fairly unique investigation impacting on virtually every state and jurisdiction in Australia," said Detective Superintendent Wacker.
If convicted, Ms Trinh faces up to 10 years behind bars.
The case returns to court later this month.