TRAVELLERS who went on a wrecking spree at a Blackburn brewery are due to be sentenced today. 

Gang leader Thomas Ward, 43, of Aspull Common, Leigh, pleaded guilty to blackmail, conspiracy to burgle Thwaites Brewery in Blackburn and conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

John Ward, 33, and Patrick Ward, 32, who was convicted in his absence, will also be sentenced for the conspiracy offences at Burnley Crown Court. 

More than 100 travellers descended on the brewery in Penny Street over a bank holiday weekend in May 2018. 

Offices were ransacked, copper wires were stripped out and human excrement was spread around the site.

In the aftermath of the incident the site was left without power, the brewery’s electrical copper cables were stolen, vending machines were smashed and the offices were ransacked.

READ > Travellers plead guilty to £250,000 Thwaites ransacking

Computers and other electrical goods were also removed from the site. Doors were ripped off their hinges and the site was left in a ‘disgusting, squalid mess’, according to brewery bosses.

A total of 1,700 pints of beer were poured down the drain because of contamination fears. The incident brought 211 years of brewing in the town to a premature end, as Thwaites was preparing for relocation to an £8million headquarters in Mellor Brook in August.