Two men who deliberately placed needles and syringes in food products at an #Aylesford supermarket have been jailed.
Bradley Scott (left of image) and Matthew Keam repeatedly concealed dangerous items over a five month period, as part of a prank aimed at alarming customers and staff.
Between 19 July and 6 December 2018 the pair targeted a Sainsbury’s store in Quarry Wood Industrial Estate, during which time they were responsible for seven separate incidents. Needles and syringes were discovered by employees and shoppers either protruding from or contained within items. These included garlic bread, a bottle of orange juice, a cereal box and even among Christmas decorations displayed on an artificial tree.
Scott, aged 30, of Lyall Way, #Gillingham and Keam, aged 24, of Kerry Hill Way, #Maidstone were arrested between 15 and 16 December. Forensic tests from needles and syringes seized from the store would return positive DNA results, identifying both men.
An investigation revealed they were friends who frequented a nearby gym and that they used the needles for steroid use, as part of a training regime. During police interview Scott admitted responsibility, giving no reason other than it was just ‘plain stupidity’. He added they had chosen the store simply because it was close to the gym.
They were charged with an offence of contamination of or interference with goods, with intention of causing public alarm. At Maidstone Crown Court both men pleaded guilty and on 18 October 2019 they were each sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.
Detective Constable Barrie Prowse of west Kent CID said: ‘These offences would no doubt would have caused considerable distress, anxiety and revulsion among shoppers and staff, alike. Whilst the needles repeatedly placed in items were found to be capped, there was clearly potential for serious injury to anyone who may have had the misfortune of finding these items. Both Scott and Keam have shown genuine remorse for their reckless behaviour, however protection of the general public and the safety of any food supply chain are of paramount importance, leaving the courts with little choice but to impose custodial sentences.’