Thu, 20 Sep, 2018
Girl arrested: Confesses to needles in strawberries "prank"
A 12-year-old has reportedly admitted to inserting needles into strawberries in what police believe to be a copycat prank.
New South Wales Acting Assistant Police Commissioner Stuart Smith said the child was caught in recent days but refused to release any further details.
While the youngster was reported as a male due to Mr Smith addressing the child as a “he” at a press conference, it is now discovered that the police commissioner misspoke.
After inserting the needles into the strawberries, the girl then showed her friends at school in the NSW Blue Mountains, reported The Daily Telegraph. One student informed staff and the police were immediately called to the scene. They reportedly interviewed the girl at her home and she eventually confessed.
“Obviously, in the last few days we found a young person has admitted to a prank, including putting needles in strawberries,” Mr Smith told reporters in Sydney.
Mr Smith said the child would be dealt with under the youth cautioning system.
He further went on to say that while some may believe the behaviour could be “called a prank”, he warned that any copycat cases would be dealt with the full extent of the law.
“What we’ve seen in the state (of NSW) we believe is the work of copycats and pranksters, we’ve got to deal with it though, the way we deal with any crime,” he said.
The event comes as the Attorney-General said there have now been over 100 reported cases of sabotaged fruit across the country, with the scare initially starting in Queensland then spreading to Tasmania and Western Australia.
The most recent incident occurred at a primary school in Newcastle today, where a student discovered a needle inside the banana that they packed for lunch.
The child, a pupil at St Paul’s Primary School, alerted teachers after biting into the banana and finding the sharp object lodged inside.
Detectives were sent to the school to investigate the incident and have removed the banana for further tests.
A spokesman for NSW Police said authorities will not comment on individual cases as they had a “duty of care.”