A WARRANT has been issued for the arrest of the owner of Barrow's so-called House of Lords site, who is allegedly on the other side of the world.

Roger McKimm was convicted of criminal damage following a trial at South Cumbria Magistrates' that he did not attend.

He then failed to turn up for a sentencing hearing at the same court this week.

The court was told it was thought he was on the Indonesian Island of Bali, around 8,000 miles from Barrow.

The conviction came after McKimm was charged with two counts of criminal damage in incidents said to have taken place on May 23 in Barrow.

The 67-year-old did not appear for a trial and was found guilty in his absence.

The court heard caused £400 of damage to a car owned by Peter Kane and £1,000 worth of damage to a gate owned by Steven Horrocks.

McKimm, of Back Lane in Ulverston, was due to be sentenced on February 5.

The site, on Abbey Road, was destroyed by a fire in 2017.

In 2022 the council published a feasibility study about future uses for the former Abbey Road Working Men's Club and Institute site.

Adding to the site was one of the possible options being explored by the then-Barrow Council.

The study investigated a number of options for the site including retaining the building as a ruin, creating space within the original façade, new developments at either side of the building, and hard and soft landscaping works.

The feasibility report was commissioned by Barrow Borough Council last year, using funding from the £1.1 million High Street Heritage Action Zone grant awarded by English Heritage in 2019, the authority said.

The council said the options identified by the feasibility report were currently hypothetical and 'would be for the owners or future owners of the site to consider and explore in further detail'.

More than 60 firefighters tackled the blaze in 2017, with crews from Barrow, Walney, Millom, Ulverston, Grange, Windermere, Bootle, Arnside and Lancaster spending hours trying to put the fire out.