Farmer accused of mixing baby food with shards of metal to blackmail Tesco | UK News


Two mothers say they were minutes away from feeding their young children with shards of homemade knife blades, a court has heard.

The women testified at the trial of a farmer accused of planting shards of metal in baby food between May 2018 and February 2020 to blackmail Tesco from £ 1.4million into bitcoin.

Nigel Wright, 45, near Market Rasen in Lincolnshire, denies contaminating food at the Rochdale branch of the supermarket.

Mother Morven Smith later found the shards of metal in a jar of Heinz sweet and sour chicken baby food she was giving her 10-month-old son in December of last year, jurors have learned from the Old Bailey.

Wright is accused of placing the blades in the jar and leaving it in the store, before composing a message to Tesco demanding payment in exchange for revealing the location of the jars.

At the time, Tesco issued a domestic product recall of all jars of the product and pulled all remaining stock from its shelves.

Following the recall, Harprett Kaur Singh told the channel she also found metal shards as she fed her nine-month-old daughter a pot of Heinz chicken dinner on Sunday.

Ms Singh threw the pot away but a few days later found other pieces of metal in a pot of tomato cheese pasta stars, the jury heard.

A total of 42000 pots Heinz baby foods have been recovered, although there is no evidence that others have been adulterated.

Advertisements were placed to help recall products. Pic: FSA

Police found photographs of the contaminated baby food on Wright’s laptop at his family’s home, prosecutor Julian Christopher QC said.

The labels were clearly visible and two of the jars – the cheese and tomato pasta stars and the Sunday chicken dinner – were open with pieces of metal placed inside, the jury said.

A draft of a letter to Tesco found on the device read: “Imagine a baby’s mouth open and blood flowing, or the inside of her belly cut and bleeding.” You pay, you save them. ”

In other letters, he allegedly claimed to have enriched canned salmonella and other chemicals – but there is no evidence that he actually did.

He had also threatened to start poisoning the goods with prussic acid, also known as hydrogen cyanide, the court heard.

The prosecution said Wright appeared to be playing “cat and mouse” through his letters and perhaps would have “enjoyed the game.”

Wright claims he was forced into the scheme by travelers who came to his land and threatened to kill him unless he gave them £ 1million.

He also said he was angry with the low prices paid to dairy farmers for their milk, signing his letters as “Guy Brush and the Dairy Pirates,” the court heard.

The farmer denies two counts of contaminating goods and three counts of blackmail for demanding cryptocurrency from Tesco.

He faces a new blackmail charge for allegedly claiming £ 150,000 worth of bitcoin from a driver he was involved with in a road rage altercation.

The trial continues.


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