AN ALGERIAN man arrested after allegedly spraying a mixture of 'urine, faeces and domestic products' over food in two supermarkets last Friday was remanded in custody today to await committal to crown court.
Sahnoun Daifallah, 42, of Bibury road, White City, Gloucester, is also accused of two similar attacks on earlier dates in a bookshop and a pub in the Cotswolds.
Daifallah, who represented himself at Cheltenham Magistrate's Court this morning, admitted being at the locations involved but denied being responsible for the spray attacks.
He indicated he would be pleading not guilty to four charges of contaminating food or books - two on May 14 at Cirencester and Birdlip, and two more at supermarkets in Quedgeley and Abbeydale, Gloucester, on May 16.
Prosecutor Liz Thomas said that because the total damage allegedly done by Daifallah was more than £10,000 pounds, the magistrates' sentencing powers were not great enough to deal with the case and it should be sent to crown court for trial.
Ms Thomas alleged that Daifallah's first offence was at the Air Balloon Public House at Birdlip.
"He had a rather odd conversation with a member of the bar staff asking how much it would cost to kiss her and then how much it would cost to rape her," alleged the prosecutor.
"This caused her a great deal of upset.
"As she was serving him she became aware of a very strong unpleasant smell in the area."
On the same day, Ms Thomas continued, Daifallah allegedly went into Waterstone's Bookshop in Cirencester.
"He asked to use the toilet and stayed there 15 minutes," she said. "Then browsed in the children's book section and staff became aware of a strong smell coming from him and in the store.
"At first staff thought it was the air conditioning so left it till the next day.
"When they opened the store the next day they saw that on the books where he was browsing there was a brown very smelly unpleasant substance.
"The store had to be closed for two hours while staff threw out 706 books, at a loss of almost £3,000 pounds."
Two days later at about 10.15am Daifallah was seen at Tescos at Quedgeley, the prosecutor added.
"A Mrs Harris was doing her shopping saw him with a shoulder bag and he was squirting fluid from the bag towards the items on display," Ms Thomas "She became aware of the smell of urine around the store."
Two members of staff were aware of a vapour and fine mist coming from his right hand as he was standing next to a different display of food. They saw a brown substance on the bottles in the wine aisle, she said.
Forensic tests had not been completed yet, Ms Thomas said but Tescos own test indicated a combination of urine, faeces and domestic products were involved.
Daifallah was finally accused of being involved in a similar incident at Morrisons in Abbeydale, Ms Thomas said.
Both supermarkets were closed on Friday and Saturday as a result of the incident and had to be cleaned and restocked at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds, Ms Thomas said.
Ms Thomas said Daifallah's motive for the alleged incidents was still unclear but he was arrested at his car shortly after police were called to Morrisons.
While at the police station he was searched and the police found him cooperative.
After an officer thanked him for his cooperation, he replied "You're dong your job and I'm doing mine," she said.
In court todya Daifallah offered no argument against being remanded in custody.
Magistrates agreed that the case should be adjourned to Stroud Magistrates court on May 28 when Daifallah will appear via video link from jail for the case to be committed to Gloucester Crown Court for trial.
Source: Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard (English)