A farmer accused of attempting to blackmail Tesco after spiking child meals became once coerced by travellers who threatened to execute him, a jury heard.
Nigel Wright, 45, from Lincolnshire, laced the jars with steel shards in a £1.4m Bitcoin build between Might doubtless unbiased 2018 and February, the Ancient Bailey became once told.
He denies two counts of contaminating items and three counts of blackmail.
Jurors beforehand heard how two moms were moments faraway from feeding their infants after they noticed the shards.
Giving proof, Mr Wright, from Market Rasen, admitted sending letters to the supermarket chain providing to mumble the residing of merchandise he claimed to accept as true with sinister with fragments of steel blades in commerce for cryptocurrency.
But he mentioned he did this after travellers got here to his property disturbing he give them £500,000.
Sports ‘Threatened with knife’
He mentioned the threats started when he fired a warning shot at a neighborhood of males who had reach to his farm purchasing for scrap steel.
Mr Wright mentioned the males returned some days later, pinned him to the bottom and threatened him with a knife.
He mentioned the unknown males had urged he either protect a financial institution, launch up stealing cows or poison a supermarket to elevate the money.
The defendant mentioned one among the neighborhood had given him the jar of child meals and compelled him to plant it in a store in Lockerbie.
He told the court docket they then forced him to send the letters to Tesco after threatening to execute him, his wife and young of us.
When asked why he did now not precise amble to the police, he mentioned: “I’ve been to the police in the past and they’ve failed me.”
Prosecutor Julian Christopher QC mentioned by his letters Mr Wright became once having fun with “cat and mouse” with the supermarket chain.
The court docket heard as a outcomes of the letters, Tesco issued a rob of 42,000 jars of Heinz child meals and 140,000 jars of Cow and Gate child meals.
The trial continues.