POLICE in England hunting a man involved in widespread damage to a historic brewery believe he may be in Ireland.
Patrick Ward, 32, was convicted in his absence of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to commit criminal damage after a trial Preston Crown Court last week.
The offences relate to an incident over the spring Bank Holiday weekend when a 100-strong group of Travellers set up camp at the Thwaites Brewery site in Blackburn, Lancashire.
The group was moved on by police escort on Bank Holiday Monday, by which time £313,000 worth of damage and theft had occurred at the site, forcing Thwaites to relocate to new premises sooner than planned.
High-value alcohol stolen
Lancashire Constabulary say Ward, along with two other men, a 17-year-old boy and other accomplices not yet convicted, looted the premises.
Items stolen included televisions, computer equipment, high-value alcohol and electrical copper wiring from throughout the entire site.
“Ward knew he was due to stand trial but did not turn up to court,” said DS Dave Bowler from Blackburn Police.
“He is due to be sentenced in January.
“If you have seen him or know where he is, please make contact with us.
“My advice to Patrick if he sees this appeal is to attend a police station before he makes matters worse for himself.”
Ward is described as white, around 6' 3" tall, of large build with short wavy brown hair and green eyes.
He speaks with an Irish accent and has a tribal tattoo on his left arm and the name ‘Carol’, along with a shamrock, tattooed on his right arm.
Ward is a member of the Travelling community and has connections across the country as well as Ireland and Northern Ireland, where he currently may be.
Anyone with information is asked to email [email protected] or call 01254 353863, quoting crime reference ED1811359.
Information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.