Spalding pumpkin farmer bouncing back after blackmailer jailed

Pinchbeck farmer David Bowman is now busy harvesting pumpkins in time for the Spalding Pumpkin Festival. SG2909115-115TW
Pinchbeck farmer David Bowman is now busy harvesting pumpkins in time for the Spalding Pumpkin Festival. SG2909115-115TW

Landworkers were back in the fields this week harvesting ahead of Spalding Pumpkin Festival after weeks of worry for the local farmer following a man’s attempts to ruin him.

Thousands of pumpkins will be shipped out to local schools in the coming days for pupils to make a lantern to carry in the parade through the town on Friday, October 9.

The stress for us all has been alarming but we are all relieved to be getting on with the job now

It’s an annual contribution to the popular event by farmer David Bowman – and something he can now concentrate on now the man who lied that he had injected pumpkins in one of his fields with deadly potassium cyanide is firmly behind bars serving an eight year sentence.

Lorry driver Michael Young struck a week before harvesting began, also demanding £50,000 from Mr Bowman.

Judge Michael Heath, passing sentence, told Young: “The sentence I am going to pass on you contains an element of deterrence.

“Let anyone who is minded to do the sort of thing that you did realise the sort of sentence that will follow.”

Mr Bowman lost £120,000 worth of stock and had to plough in a field of perfectly edible pumpkins destined for export to Spain as a result.

But with four million pumpkins still to harvest there is much to do and Mr Bowman’s workforce is thankful for it.

The Spalding Guardian caught up with Mr Bowman out in his field at West Pinchbeck at the start of a busy Tuesday.

He said: “I’ve had many sleepless nights worrying how this creep would impact on my business.

“One order to Spain was cancelled because the Food Standards Agency wanted me to plough in the field to address any public concern.

“The stress for us all has been alarming but we are all relieved to be getting on with the job now.

“For some of my temporary workers this is their last big job of the year and one they rely on to be able to afford to go home for Christmas.

“They were worried they might lose their jobs and not be able to go.

“I’m delighted to still be able to supply pumpkins for the festival in Spalding and just want to put what happened behind us.”

Previously...

Farmer lost £120,000 pumpkin crop after blackmailer pretended to poison his stock with potassium cyanide