Thwaites Brewery, which has been around since 1807, and brews ye olde traditional English bitters and milds, was held hostage recently by a gang of so-called ‘travellers’.
The 100 or so travellers broke into the lot of the brewery in Lancashire and stationed their 25 vehicles there, refusing to leave unless a £20k ransom was paid within the hour.
The ringleader, Thomas Ward, who has just pleaded guilty to guilty to blackmail, conspiracy to burgle, and conspiracy to commit criminal damage, finally agreed they would not do any damage if the ransom was paid the next day.
It seems, however, Mr. Ward changed his mind somewhere along the way, thinking he had been tricked, so the gang trashed the brewery.
The cost of the damages is estimated to be around £300k.
Along with Thomas Ward, John Ward (presumably his brother) was also charged, as was a 17 year old. A third Ward, Patrick Ward, has denied any part in the affair.
What a strange and twisted scheme to make some money! One can only assume they thought of this brilliant plan over a few pints of bitter.
Read more on the BBC site: Thwaites Brewery travellers ‘demanded £20k to leave site’