Two charged after homes evacuated in former pit village

More than 100 houses in Grimethorpe, Barnsley, were cleared after an Army bomb squad was sent to a property on Wednesday.

Emergency services at the scene in Grimethorpe after more than 100 homes were evacuated
Emergency services at the scene in Grimethorpe after more than 100 homes were evacuated (Danny Lawson/PA)

Two people have been charged after more than 100 homes were evacuated when “suspicious items” were found in a former pit village.

About 130 homes were cleared around an address in Grimethorpe, Barnsley, on Wednesday as an Army bomb squad was deployed to a property on Brierley Road.

On Friday, South Yorkshire Police said Ian Claughton, 58, and Lesley Claughton, 57, both of Brierley Road, had been charged with bringing a realistic firearm into the UK, two counts of possession with intent to supply class B drugs, possession of a firearm and being concerned with production of class B drugs.

Ian Claughton was also charged with setting a mantrap with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.

Both defendants were due to appear at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Evacuated residents were allowed back into their homes on Thursday following the warrants, carried out by Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit (YHROCU) supported by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and South Yorkshire Police.

The force said the Army’s explosive ordnance disposal team and military ordnance disposal team were deployed after a number of suspicious items were found at one of the properties and a 100-metre cordon was put in place as a precautionary measure.

Residents said the police activity was focused on a nearby disused church building and adjoining house, which has been in the process of being renovated for a number of years.

Detective Chief Inspector Al Burns, from the YHROCU, said: “First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to our partners at South Yorkshire Police and the NCA, but most importantly the community in Grimethorpe whose patience and support was greatly appreciated whilst we conducted our inquiries.

“Both people involved have now been charged with serious offences and will be appearing at court today. Our investigation will remain ongoing.”