Raphael G. Satter, AP, April 14, 2009
Sahnoun Daifallah was sentenced to nine years in prison after being found guilty of four counts of contaminating goods.
The 42-year-old Algerian carried a mix of his waste in a container of weed killer concealed in a laptop bag, a court found. Using the nozzle, which poked out of the bag, Daifallah was able to spray large areas, leaving a powerful stench and causing tens of thousands of pounds (dollars) worth of damage.
Daifallah’s first target was The Air Balloon pub and restaurant near the south England town of Cheltenham, which he visited around lunchtime on May 14. Kate Rochead, on duty that day, told The Associated Press she didn’t know exactly what area he sprayed.
Daifallah next visited a bookstore in neighboring Cirencester, dousing hundreds of books–most of them in the children’s section.
Two days later he struck in the nearby suburban area of Quedgeley, where a customer spotting him squirting the frozen french fries at a supermarket. Daifallah then drove four miles (six kilometers) to another supermarket, where an employee in the wine section noticed him acting suspiciously and reported an overpowering stench. Both supermarkets were closed for two days for cleaning. Shoppers reported suffering from rashes and nausea.
Local police said the products weren’t handled by customers, but Morrisons, one of the supermarkets targeted, said a small number of goods were returned as a precautionary measure. Tesco, the other supermarket hit by Daifallah, declined comment.
Police were able to identify Daifallah using security camera footage. When they raided his home, they found a stockpile of the substance and plans to spread it. Plastic bags containing excrement were marked with the names of cities on them.
Judge Carol Hagen said Britain’s security agencies had labeled him a high risk to public safety. Authorities have already begun deportation proceedings.