A sheep farmer has been convicted of two counts of contaminating food, after putting three jars of baby food laced with shards of metal in two Tesco stores.
Nigel Wright is facing up to 14 years in prison after being found guilty at the Old Bailey.
The 45-year-old had demanded £1.5 million from Tesco after lacing baby food with razor-sharp shards of metal.
Two mothers found the metal pieces when they were feeding their children after Nigel Wright began his two-year campaign in the spring of 2018.
The married father of two threatened to inject tins of fruit with cyanide and salmonella unless the supermarket giant handed over the money in Bitcoin.
Nigel Wright signed off his emails and letters ‘Guy Brush & the Dairy Pirates + Tinkerbell the naughty fairy’ and claimed he represented dairy farmers who had been underpaid by Tesco.
He triggered two nationwide recalls on both Cow & Gate and Heinz baby food as a result of the threats, prompting the supermarket to clear 140,000 products from the racks.
A detective posed as a Tesco worker named Sam Scott to hand over £100,000 in the cryptocurrency to trap the blackmailer.
Nigel Wright was captured on CCTV buying wine and flowers for his wife after placing a contaminated jar on the shelves of a Lockerbie branch on November 29 last year. He also placed two jars of contaminated food on the shelves of a Rochdale store.
Scottish mother Morven Smith felt sick when she spotted the shards in a jar of Heinz sweet and sour chicken her 10-month-old son was eating.
Morven Smith, from Lockerbie, had already fed several spoonfuls to her baby when she found a shard of metal in the bowl in December 2019.
She said that she had taken the bowl out of the microwave and had given her son a couple of spoonfuls when she saw something shiny and she picked it out with her fingers. She said it was horrible and she felt sick and was so shocked.
Her husband found a second piece of metal at the bottom of the jar and the incident led to a nationwide recall of 42,000 tins of the product.
A second mother, Harpreet Kaur Singh found shredded chippings of metal in jars of Heinz Sunday Chicken Dinner and Cheese and Tomato Pasta Stars.
The mother sobbed as she told the court how she had been minutes away from feeding them to her nine-month-old daughter.
This is shocking, and how could anybody do this to innocent babes, especially when this man has children of his own, and he might have been targetting Tesco but it’s the mothers and babies that suffer.
And how did this man even think what he was doing would work? Did he think that Tesco would just take his word when he showed which one he had contaminated? Did he not realise that Tesco would dump it all, and clearly this guy is not the full shilling.