GALLERY: Up to �50,000 worth of damage caused by 1,000 illegal ravers who took over empty March factory for New Year’s Eve
BUSINESSMAN John Finn says rave organisers who wrecked his factory told him because of his age they would “show me respect” and not throw him out if he restored power.
Mr Finn, 63, busy counting the cost after 1,000 revellers descended on his Thorby Avenue premises in March said: “They told me that, as I am an old man, they were going to show me respect and if I turned the music back on they would not throw me out.”
The factory – off Hostmoor Avenue- had just been re-furbished prior to being re-let but on New Year’s Day he took a call from a neighbour who told the rave had taken place.
He arrived to a scene of carnage. Ceilings had been ripped down, windows and doors smashed, fire extinguishers and gas canisters lay everywhere and Mr Finn, who has owned the building for 15 years, says there was evidence of heavy cocaine, ecstasy and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) use,
He said: “There must have been 500 people here when I arrived, mainly aged from 18 to 20.
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“I came in and turned off the power.
“Surely these people must realise its somebody else’s premises they are damaging.
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“The thing is they really felt I had done them a disservice by stopping the party.”
The walls had been covered in graffiti and the toilets vandalised, while some had defecated in a doorway.
George Walker, a friend of Mr Finn’s, will be helping with the clean-up said: “I can’t believe people could be like that. What sort of people do we have in this world?”
Mr Finn paid tribute to the police who had come along and confronted the ravers but were powerless against such a large number of people.
He said: “The police did a marvellous job. They could not have been more helpful.
“But there were only five or six of them and they just need more resources.”
Mr Finn hopes raising awareness of his plight might shame the ravers into reneging from such behaviour in the future.
He said: “Hopefully I can appeal to their better conscience so that they think twice about doing something like this to someone else.”
Angry residents took to Facebook to complain about the noise caused by the rave. One woman described it as “like a car that won’t start in a cave or somebody sawing something deep in the earth.”
Another woman wrote that “I got into bed just after midnight and could hear it. I made my partner turn of the boiler because I thought it was going to blow.”
Businesswoman Amanda Carlin posted on Facebook that “I really feel for the businesses that have been affected by the illegal rave.
“Not the first time this area has been a target but it is the first time in a long while. Very messy, very upsetting.
“As if local business people don’t have enough to deal with right now.”