A MAN who was convicted of his role in causing £313,000 of damage to a brewery is being hunted by police.

Patrick Ward, of Aspull Common, Leigh was found guilty in his absence in a trial at Preston Crown Court last week for conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to commit criminal damage at the Thwaites brewery in Blackburn.

The 32-year-old was one of a group of travellers who moved on land at the brewery site over the Spring Bank holiday earlier this year.

Despite being asked to move, the group stayed at the scene.

On Sunday, May 27 after staff had been to collect items of value at the brewery, Patrick, along with two other men, Thomas Ward and John Ward, also of Aspull Common, Leigh and a 17-year-old boy, as well as other accomplices not yet convicted, looted office buildings.

They stole TVs, computer equipment, high value alcohol and electrical copper wiring from throughout the entire site.

The damage not only cost the company hundreds of thousands of pounds, it also meant they had to relocate to some new premises sooner than planned.

The group were moved on by police escort on Bank Holiday Monday, May 28.

DS Dave Bowler from Blackburn Police said: “Ward knew he was due to stand trial but did not turn up to court. 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.”

Patrick Ward is described as white, around 6ft 3ins 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.

A member of travelling community, Ward has connections across the country as well as the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, where he currently may be.

If you have any information that could assist, please email 3776@lancashire.pnn.police.uk or call 01254 353863. If you fail to get an answer, dial 101, ask for Lancashire Police and quote crime reference ED1811359.

Alternatively, you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at ‎crimestoppers-uk.org.