Unlicensed security director ordered to pay £550k from proceeds of crime

Unlicensed security director Ernest Bewick has been ordered to pay more than half a million pounds from his business or face five years in jail.

He provided security services to more than 100 pubs, clubs and hotels in Sunderland through his company Bewick Security, but did not hold the SIA licence required to work lawfully.

Bewick, who was previously convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison, had not applied for an SIA licence, the court heard.

Following an investigation led by Northumbria Police and supported by the Security Industry Authority and HM Revenue and Customs, Bewick was prosecuted and fined £2,000 for working as a director without a licence.

This conviction meant the force could then pursue him under the Proceeds of Crime Act. At Newcastle Crown Court on Thursday [2 February] Bewick, of Wheatsheaf Court, Roker, was ordered to pay back £550,000 of the profit he had made from his company. He must pay the sum within six months, or face a five year prison sentence in default.

SIA Head of Investigation Neil Diamond said: “This is an excellent outcome which is a result of partnership working between several agencies. It sends a clear message to those tempted to flout the law.”

Inspector Andy Gimza, who led the investigation, said: “Bewick will payback over half a million pounds of his ill-gotten gains as well as a £2000 fine. This case has been to protect the people of Sunderland and the city’s night time economy.

“We hope this will deter any others from committing such offences and it is a warning to those who do so – we are watching. It is with the hard work of Northumbria Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, the Security Industry Authority and HMRC that we have achieved this result.”

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