DAMAGE estimated at several thousands of pounds was caused to windows at eight properties in Nelson town centre after a man went on an early-morning rampage with a blunt instrument - believed to be a hammer - in the Place de Creil and on Manchester Road.
Panes of glass in the frontage of the Pendle Rise Shopping Centre, Fultons Farm Foods, the post office in the former Woolworths store on the Place de Creil and Slick Clothing and three banks - the Halifax, the Yorkshire and Barclays - in Manchester Road were all smashed within a short space of time in the early hours of Wednesday.
A bid to smash a window in an eighth property - the Store Twenty One shop in the former Woolworths stote - proved to be unsuccessful.
One of the business people affected, Pendle councillor Eileen Ansar, who runs the Slick shop, said that times were hard enough in the present economic circumstances for traders without them having to spend unnecessary money - more than £1,000 in some cases - on replacements for broken windows.
Police were called to the scene and arrested a 39-year-old man, said to be from Nelson but of no fixed abode, nearby.
Insp. Phil Davies, from Nelson police, confirmed that the damage caused would run into several thousands of pounds.
The man arrested by police was named as Richard Edge and was charged with six offences of criminal damage.
He appeared before Pennine magistrates on Wednesday afternoon, where he pleaded guilty to all six offences and was remanded on bail until April 6th for pre-sentence reports.