On Friday, October 13, 2023, two individuals from Binbrook were prosecuted at Humber Magistrates’ Court for their involvement in illegal security work carried out in 2020 for G4 Fuels Ltd, the owner of Brookenby Business Park in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire.
These legal proceedings mark the conclusion of a series of prosecutions initiated by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). These actions followed the prosecution of Trevor Frater, a director of a Louth-based company, at Grimsby Crown Court in November 2021. In that case, Frater was directed to pay £33,979.51 in Proceeds of Crime Act reparations within eight weeks or face imprisonment.
The incidents leading to these prosecutions began when three unlicensed individuals were provided by Frater’s company, Elite Security, to offer unauthorized security services to G4 Fuels Ltd between July 17, 2020, and August 26, 2020. The provision of these individuals was falsely linked to the site operating as a ‘COVID-19’ test and trace operation. However, SIA’s investigators found no legitimate connection between an official test and trace operation and the deployment of staff to Brookenby Business Park.
On October 27, 2020, Chambers and Whitfield were interviewed under caution by SIA investigators. While Whitfield participated in the interview, Chambers did not engage with the investigators. Subsequently, on May 28, 2021, the third unlicensed operative, Frank Quinton, pleaded guilty at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court for working illegally. He was fined £100 and was required to pay £779.40 in prosecution costs and a £39 victim surcharge.
Despite clear video evidence showing their involvement in illegal security work, both Michael Chambers and Michael Whitfield pleaded not guilty to working without a license. Consequently, a new trial date was set for Friday, October 13, 2023.
In the trial, Chambers was found guilty and was fined £500. He was also ordered to pay £1,500 in prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £50. Similarly, Whitfield was found guilty and was fined £500. He was directed to pay £1,500 in prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £50 by the court.
Jenny Hart, one of the SIA’s Criminal Investigations Managers, is quoted as saying, “Friday’s court case concludes a series of prosecutions where opportunists sought to exploit the sensitive COVID-19 period. Chambers and Whitfield falsely claimed that they never worked illegally for Frater and at the Brookenby site as security despite video evidence clearly showing they did. The SIA’s regulatory regime exists to protect the public from harm. Messrs Whitfield and Chambers have now incurred fines and criminal records following their criminality.”