Four charged over invasion of Thwaites brewery

Four people have been charged over an invasion of Thwaite’s Brewery in Blackburn, which saw a 100-strong group of travellers barricade themselves inside the facility and cause £100,000 worth of damage.

Travellers invaded the brewery in blackburn over the May Bank Holiday

The travellers forced their way into the family-run business in Blackburn, Lancashire, at around 8pm on Saturday 26 May, and temporarily prevented staff from entering the premise, effectively evicting them from their own head office.

Following an “aggressive stand-off” with police, the group, which was accompanied by 21 caravans and 25 cars, were convinced to leave the site. But not before the group caused damage to cars inside the site, smashed windows and used the brewery’s offices as toilets. 

The brewery, which has estimated the damage caused to be in the region of £100,000, was also forced to pour 1,700 pints of beer down the drain over fears of contamination.

On Tuesday, six people were arrested as part of a pre-planned operation which saw officers carry out dawn raids at an address in Leverhulme, Bolton and Leigh, Wigan, with four people since charged.

They are: Thomas Ward, 43 who is charged with blackmail, burglary and criminal damage; Patrick Ward, 32, charged with burglary and criminal damage; John Ward, 33, charged with burglary, criminal damage and shoplifting. They are all of The Stables, Aspull Common, Leigh.

A 16 year old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with burglary and criminal damage.

Two others, both 21 year old men arrested on suspicion of burglary have been released under investigation.

The four charged are due to appear before Blackburn Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (Thursday, June 28th).

Credit: Lancashire Police

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