A 53 year old lorry driver from Boston in Lincolnshire has been jailed for eight years after blackmailing Spalding-based pumpkin producer David Bowman.
Michael Young said that he had injected the crop with potassium cyanide and demanded £50,000 in internet currency Bitcoins. In court in Lincoln, prosecution lawyer Stuart Lody said, “There is no evidence whatsoever that cyanide was ever used. The pumpkins contained water. The defendant sent photographs of pumpkins being injected with a substance and articles about potassium cyanide obtained from the internet.
“A letter said that the pumpkin crop had been selectively poisoned and warned Mr Bowman not to attempt to harvest or sell a single pumpkin until the blackmailer’s demands were fully met.”
However, David Bowman had to plough up a field with an estimated value of £120,000. In a victim impact statement he said; “I’ve had sleepless nights worrying how this callous and malicious crime will impact on my business.”