A Lockerbie mum told a court she “felt sick” after realising she almost fed her baby son a craft knife blade allegedly planted in a jar of baby food.

Morven Smith was giving evidence at the Old Bailey trial of Nigel Wright, 45, who is accused of deliberately spiking the product as part of a campaign to extort £1.4million of Bitcoin from Tesco.

Wright is alleged to have sent dozens of letters to the supermarket chain offering to reveal the location of the contaminated products in exchange for cryptocurrency.

Last December, Mrs Smith had already fed a few spoonfuls of Heinz sweet and sour chicken to her baby when she spotted a shard of metal in a bowl.

In a statement, she said: “I took the bowl out of the microwave then gave my son a couple of spoonfuls.

“I noticed something shiny and pulled it out. It was horrendous. I felt sick, I was so shocked.”

Her husband then found a second blade at the bottom of the jar. After wrapping the jar and the blades in a freezer bag to give to Tesco, Morven noticed someone had drawn a circle with a cross through it on the bottom of the product.

Artist's impression of Nigel Wright appearing at the Old Bailey
Artist's impression of Nigel Wright appearing at the Old Bailey

She added: “At this point, I knew the jar had been marked and someone had done it on purpose.”

Tesco issued a national product recall of all its Heinz baby food and emailed Clubcard customers to tell them of the risk.

Following the recall, 42,000 jars of Heinz baby food were recovered but there is no evidence any more than three products were tampered with.

Wright, from Market Rasen in Lincolnshire, admits placing the contaminated jar on a shelf at a Tesco store in Lockerbie. However, he denies two charges of contaminating goods and three counts of blackmail against Tesco.

Wright also admits carrying out various elements of the campaign but claims he was forced to do so by travellers who came on to his land and threatened to kill him unless he gave them £1million.

Julian Christopher QC, prosecuting, said of the alleged blackmail campaign: “He accepts sending all the threatening letters and emails to Tesco in which the blackmail demands were made.

“He says that the travellers who were threatening to kill him gave him this jar, already contaminated, along with several others which he threw away, and that he did not realise how small, and so difficult to see, the pieces of metal inside it were.

“The prosecution suggests this is a story he concocted and is untrue.”

The trial continues.