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Four charged after brewery suffers extensive damage

Three men and a teenage boy will appear before magistrates on Thursday.

Three men and a teenage boy have been charged after a police investigation into large-scale damage at a brewery.

A group of about 100 travellers forced their way into the Thwaites site and head office in Blackburn, Lancashire, over last month’s bank holiday weekend, which led to a stand-off with staff who were not allowed in.

Earlier this month Thwaites confirmed it was unable to continue its 211 years of brewing beer at the Penny Street site because of damage inflicted, which cost more than £100,000.

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A dawn raid took place at a traveller camp on Leverhulme Park in Bolton (Lancashire Police/PA)

On Tuesday, six people were arrested as police carried out dawn raids at a traveller camp on Leverhulme Park in Bolton and in Leigh, Wigan.

A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said Thomas Ward, 43, had been charged with blackmail, burglary and criminal damage; Patrick Ward, 32, had been charged with burglary and criminal damage and John Ward, 33, had been charged with burglary, criminal damage and shoplifting.

All men are of The Stables, Aspull Common, Leigh.

A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with burglary and criminal damage.

They are due to appear at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

Two 21-year-old men arrested on suspicion of burglary have been released under investigation.

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