On Tuesday, 26th September 2023, Stephen Simmonds from Ballymena was prosecuted at Laganside Magistrates’ Court. He admitted guilt to supplying illegal security to venues in Belfast and failing to inform the Security Industry Authority (SIA) of his change of address.
The court imposed a £700 fine on Simmonds, along with £100 in court costs and £135 in prosecution costs, all brought forth by the SIA. This case was linked to two recent SIA prosecutions involving Alan Agnew and Ryan Wilkinson. The investigations commenced when SIA’s investigators, alongside officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland, conducted planned inspections at Belfast night-time venues on 28th September 2022 and 3rd October 2022.
During the inspection on 28th September, Alan Agnew was found working without a valid SIA license in a Belfast nightclub, using a counterfeit license with his photo. SIA investigators seized the license, cautioned Mr. Agnew, and attempted an interview.
In the inspection on 3rd October 2022, Ryan Wilkinson was found working without a valid SIA license in a Belfast nightclub. When asked about the absence of his license, he claimed to be a ticket collector, according to investigators.
The common link in these cases was that both defendants were deployed by Stephen Simmonds, the sole director of Killane Security, a non-existent company. Simmonds possessed a Door Supervisor license, suspended by the SIA on 16th March 2023. During the SIA’s criminal investigation, it was discovered that Simmonds committed an additional offense by not informing the SIA of his change of address.
Simmonds did not cooperate with SIA’s Criminal Investigation Officers, leading the SIA to initiate prosecution proceedings in his absence.
Commenting on the case, Jenny Hart, one of the SIA’s Criminal Investigations Managers, stated, “Stephen Simmonds pleaded guilty to supplying illegal security to two Belfast venues. He had no intention of complying with the legislation even though he was a licence holder. The SIA’s licensing regime exists to protect the public, yet Simmonds chose to operate illegally by not ensuring that door supervisors he deployed were suitably licensed putting the safety of patrons at risk by his actions. Mr Simmonds now has a criminal record. I also wish to thank the Police Service of Northern Ireland for assisting us in uncovering this offending and securing convictions.”