Travellers jailed for INVADING and trashing famous brewery in northern England

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The wrecking spree was so bad it ended 200 years of production at the site.

Yesterday ringleader Thomas Ward was jailed for four years and three months and his co-conspirator John Ward for three years and nine months.

Thwaites Brewery in Blackburn was looted after a convoy of up to 30 caravans entered the site.

Thomas Ward, 44, then led negotiations with Thwaites bosses for the group to leave the brewery, but only if £20,000 was paid in return.

The court heard that management was able to find £10,000, but when that amount was offered they were told by Ward to “f*** off”.

Sentencing the pair at Burnley Crown Court, Judge Andrew Woolman said: “A conspiracy was formed to steal what was available and to cause a considerable amount of damage on the way.”

Thomas Ward, of Leigh, Gtr Manchester, pleaded guilty to blackmail and conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

John Ward, 34, also of Leigh, admitted conspiracy to burglary and commit damage.

Patrick Ward, 32, remains at large after he was convicted of conspiracy in his absence.

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