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Cop accused of poisoning colleague

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An East London police officer is in court after allegedly substituting a bottle of Powerade with potentially lethal screenwash to teach his colleague a lesson.

Child protection detective Gary Quigley said he was so fed up with his drink getting repeatedly stolen from the communal work fridge, he decided to replace the drink with the substance. He said his “sole intention was to catch the thief” and did not mean to cause any harm.

However, his colleague who drank the poison, Detective Constable Steve Halfhide, became violently ill after swallowing two mouthfuls, Daily Mail reported.

“I instantly felt burning in my throat and then I was physically sick into the sink,” Halfhide said. “I then went into one of the toilets and I was sick. I still had the burning in my throat.

“It smelled to me like undiluted screenwash that was quite concentrated.”

Halfhide said the “drink” did not look any different from regular Powerade.

In a prepared statement, Quigley said he admits and accepts full responsibility for his actions.

“I am extremely sorry and deeply remorseful for what has happened. It was never my intention to cause any injury to anyone,” he said. “However, I do accept that my actions were likely to cause grievance or annoyance.”

He denies a single count of administering a poison or noxious substance with intent.

“The prosecution say that whether this drink was in fact DC Halfhide’s, or whether he thought it was, or even if he was stealing DC Quigley’s drink is irrelevant,” Prosecutor Jocelyn Ledward said, Daily Mail reported.

“This was a dangerous and completely disproportionate thing to do in the circumstances.”

The trial is still ongoing.

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Sabrina Zolkifi
Deputy editor
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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