16 Sep 2008

Farmer admits sending white powder letter to PM

11:25 am on 16 September 2008

A Taranaki farmer has admitted sending a threatening letter filled with white powder to Prime Minister Helen Clark, sparking a security scare at Parliament buildings in August.

Five weeks ago, the powder arrived on the eighth floor of the Beehive, in central Wellington, where staff work for the Prime Minister's office one floor above.

At Hawera District Court on Tuesday, Doug Hancock, 61, pleaded guilty to making criminal threats.

The Crown says the letter called Miss Clark a "gutter mole" and warned her to get out of the country while she still could.

The powder was eventually discovered to be flour, but 58 staff were evacuated from the eighth floor of the building for a day.