THE mayor of Blackburn with Darwen launched an appeal for information regarding the theft of his charity gin from a Blackburn bar.

Thousands of pounds worth of spirits were also stolen from Shh! Bar in Northgate, Blackburn around 1am on Monday.

Mayor, Cllr Jim Shorrock, expressed his disgust after discovering the bar’s entire spirits stock has been stolen, including four bottles of the Mayor’s exclusive ‘Cotton Borough Gin’ and the bar’s own strawberry and black pepper Whitworth gin.

Cllr Shorrock said without the certificate of authentication and gift bag for the Cotton Borough Gin, the street value would be minimal. He said the bottles can also be traced as they have limited edition serial numbers B1 47, 48, 49 and 50.

He has urged anyone who is offered the unique gins to contact police on 101.

Martin and Michael Mahon, who own Shh! Bar, said the theft left them “heartbroken”.

Martin added: “It’s really knocked the wind out of our sails, we can’t go through this again. It makes you wonder whether it’s all worth it but the support we have received and the messages on social media make you realise that there are good people out there.”

The mayor, who has served in the RAF as a steward and also been a pub landlord, said: “The people responsible should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Depriving the bar of sales and my charities of vital resources is deplorable.

“Unfortunately, it’s not the first time I’ve experienced this. When I was a landlord I came back to the pub to find two burglars behind the door emptying the contents of the fruit machine.

“It’s scumbags like this that spoil it for people trying to make an honest living and I’m genuinely devastated for Martin and Michael. What has happened is terrible. Stealing from charity and the impact that incidents like this have on a local small business is immense. This bar is very much a reflection of their own personalities so it becomes very personal and upsetting to have this happen.

“It’s soul-destroying. The best very best tonic would be to catch the culprits and justice served."

A police spokesman said: “We would encourage anyone with information to contact us and help us bring to justice those responsible for this.

“If anybody has any CCTV that would be useful to the investigation, we would ask for that to be sent to us.”