Four to face trial over £250k Thwaites brewery damage

Written by on July 31, 2018

Four people are to go on trial after an historic brewery in Lancashire suffered extensive damage.

More than £100,000 of damage is estimated to have been caused to the Thwaites Brewery in Blackburn in May.

Thomas Ward, 43, of Aspull Common, Leigh, pleaded not guilty to blackmail, burglary and criminal damage via video-link at Preston Crown Court.

Patrick Ward, 32, John Ward, 33, both of Aspull Common, Leigh, and a boy, 16, denied burglary and criminal damage.

About 100 members of the travelling community set up camp at Thwaites over the bank holiday weekend.

‘Beer poured away’
Thomas Ward is alleged to have demanded £20,000 from staff, with the promise that the group would leave within an hour if the money was paid.

John Ward also denied a charge of theft from a Morrisons supermarket.

The four will stand trial on 19 November.

Thomas Ward was remanded in custody ahead of the trial at Preston Crown Court while the other three defendants were granted conditional bail.

After the disorder, the company ended brewing at the Penny Street site.

Thwaites said 1,700 pints of beer were poured away in case of contamination.

It estimated its total loss, including damage and impact on revenue, at £250,000.

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