Company director handed suspended jail sentence for supply of unlicensed security officers to Poulton school
03 February 2021
MARTIN COE – who provided unlicensed security staff to a school – has been handed a 32-week jail term (suspended for 12 months) during a case hearing at Preston Magistrates’ Court. The former director of Evolution Security Services NW, Coe was found guilty following a two-day trial at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court held on 5 and 6 October last year.
At a previous hearing, Coe had pleaded guilty to failing to provide requested information to the Security Industry Authority (SIA), despite being legally required to do so. The prosecution was brought by the SIA, with the regulator now seeking to recover assets from Coe through Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings.
SIA investigators discovered that unlicensed security officers had worked for Coe on numerous occasions at Baines School in Poulton, at the Wyre Light pub in Fleetwood and also at the Poulton Industrial Estate.
Nathan Salmon of the SIA’s criminal investigations team said: “Martin Coe refused to co-operate with an SIA investigation, and he has wasted court time by denying the charges against him. Providing unlicensed security staff to a school is a very serious matter. Members of the public, who rightly expect the very highest standards from those who protect them, will be reassured that Coe will now be banned from working in the security sector. In addition, we will be pursuing the recovery of any profit he has made from his crimes.”
Neil Reddington and Gavin Macaskill had originally been found working at the Wyre Light pub in May 2019 by a licensing officer from the Lancashire Constabulary, who was following up on reports of unlicensed operatives being deployed at the venue. Both men were employed by Evolution Security Services NW.
For his part, Reddington was sentenced at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on 29 February last year.
Ormskirk security boss convicted for second time
On Tuesday 19 January, Lloyd Irwin from Ormskirk was prosecuted for a second time by the SIA at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court after being found working illegally at Accrington’s The Berkley Club. Lloyd pleaded guilty and was fined £184, required to pay court costs of £358.20 and also a victim surcharge of £32.
Irwin, who;s a former director of Hunter Irwin Security Specialists Ltd, was prosecuted initially for working without an SIA licence. He was also charged with supplying unlicensed security officers to The Berkley Club on several occasions during the busy Christmas and New Year period of 2019-2020. His former business was also prosecuted for the supply of unlicensed security.
In addition, Irwin altered evidence that he submitted to the SIA following a request for information. This is a criminal offence. The business pleaded guilty and was fined £1,000 and required to pay court costs of £358.20 as well as a victim surcharge of £100.
The case began when an allegation was made that unlicensed security officers were working in Accrington. The SIA responded by inspecting The Berkley Club with the support of Lancashire Police and Hyndburn Council. They found Irwin and Daniel Webb working without a licence.
Having initially pleaded not guilty, Webb pleaded guilty at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court on 17 December last year to working illegally at The Berkley Club on 18 January 2020. He was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge and is required to pay £100 court costs and a £21 victim surcharge.
When sentencing Webb, the magistrates expressed a hope that he would take on board the lessons from this case and undertake his own research with the SIA in relation to his licensable status.
Pete Easterbrook, head of criminal enforcement for the SIA, stated: “Irwin has been prosecuted again for working while unlicensed and supplying other unlicensed security staff. The licensing regime is there to keep the public safe, which is particularly important at a nightclub. Both Irwin and Webb now have criminal records and will not be able to work in the private security industry.”