A TRAVELLER gang demanded £20,000 from brewery bosses after they illegally occupied it – earlier than embarking on a £300,000 two-day wrecking spree, a courtroom heard.

Greater than 25 autos – together with 17 caravans – and 100 travellers stormed Thwaites Brewery in Blackburn utilizing a chainsaw to interrupt the lock.

John Ward and 100 travellers broke right into a brewery and demanded £20okay to go away, jurors heard
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Thomas Ward, 43, then allegedly informed bosses: “£20,000 or the place is ours” to be paid throughout the hour after the group occupied the positioning on Could 26.

He then settled for a handshake and cost to be made the subsequent day – supplied there was no injury brought about to the brewery, Preston Crown Courtroom was informed.

However jurors heard how the gang went on a wrecking spree and ransacked the workplace after Ward determined his demand wouldn’t be honoured.

Cops and employees lastly gained full entry to the brewery two days later and have been greeted by a scene of “utter devastation” with £300,00 value of harm brought about, it was mentioned.

The travellers brought about £300,000 of harm
Getty Photographs – Getty

The travellers lastly left later the identical day with a police escort, the courtroom was informed.

Ward has pleaded responsible to blackmail, conspiracy to burgle Thwaites and conspiracy to commit prison injury.

John Ward, 33, and a 17-year-old male, who can’t be named for authorized causes, additionally admitted the conspiracy offences.

Patrick Ward, 32, who has pleaded not responsible to the identical conspiracy offences, is on trial at Preston Crown Courtroom in his absence.

Jurors heard how safety had referred to as administration to say that they had a “main downside” after the travellers broke in.

Patrick Ward is on trial in his absence at Preston Crown Courtroom
Getty Photographs – Getty

Chief govt Richard Bailey informed the courtroom when he arrived he noticed a lot of travellers and autos within the yard.

Canine kennels had already been specified by what was clearly an “superior stage of encampment” and work contractor Greg Hartley had already mentioned with “Huge John”, a spokesman for the travellers, his phrases for them leaving.

Mr Hartley mentioned: “Huge John mentioned give me 20 grand and we’ll be gone within the subsequent hour.”

He mentioned he relayed the message to Mr Bailey and defined to Huge John it was not attainable to acquire any cash instantly.

They lastly agreed on a handshake for a midday handover as Huge John reminded him: “Twenty grand or the place is ours,” he continued.

On Could 27, Thwaites had been allowed in – with police help – to take away a lot of useful gadgets – together with art work and memorabilia value £2million, in a horsebox and a beer dray.

A variety of males have been seen to trespass the workplace constructing from about 4.30pm.

The CCTV – which additionally confirmed younger kids enjoying within the yard – stopped recording when the ability was lower on website at about 5.50pm, the courtroom heard.

Kimberley Obrusik, prosecuting, mentioned Patrick Ward was one of many offenders caught on CCTV stealing gadgets on the brewery, which he denies.

The trial continues.

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