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Campbell's not responsible for syringe in soup: court
23/10/2012 - Illness, financial pressures and two sick children — these were weighing on the mind of a Victorian man when he spiked his bowl of Campbell's soup with a syringe in a bid to win a payout, a court has heard. Joel Cresswell
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Daniel Wayne Ferris emailed the Campbell Soup Company to complain of finding a syringe in his can of butternut pumpkin soup and seek financial compensation in March last year.
But Melbourne Magistrates Court heard on Monday it was Ferris who had placed the syringe in the bowl of soup in the kitchen of his Terang home.
Ferris followed up his complaint with an interview with shock jock Derryn Hinch on Melbourne radio station 3AW.
He also made a false statement to police.
Subsequent tests at the Campbell's factory found a syringe would not be able pass through the filling point on the production line.
Ferris, 33, pleaded guilty to causing a false report to be made to police, contamination of goods and two counts of making a false statement over the contamination of goods.
His lawyer Jamie Singh said Ferris was facing mounting medical bills from two children with autism and scoliosis and was still trying to recover from the recent loss of his house in a fire.
Ferris was racked with back pain from his own scoliosis and was in a faltering marriage, Singh said.
"This offending has to be viewed through the context of pressures affecting him and his children, for which he feels guilty," he told the court.
Magistrate Michelle Ehrlich ordered a psychiatric report be completed on Ferris before handing down her sentence, but described his crimes as a serious case of offending.
"I'm seeking to understand your state of mental health at the time of the offending and now," Ehrlich told Ferris.
Ferris will be sentenced in December.
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