UK security firm head prosecuted for using unlicensed guards

Oct. 22, 2008
Stealth Security CEO enters guilty plea on 24 counts of deploying unlicensed operatives

The chief executive of a Notts private security firm is the first to be prosecuted in England for allowing unlicensed employees to work as security guards.

James Turner, 48, chief executive of Stealth Security, allowed one employee to work as a security guard at Bestwood Lodge Hotel and another to work at Erewash Indoor Bowling Club for more than a month - despite both men having no licence to work in the security industry.

Turner, of Woodchurch Road, Arnold, pleaded guilty to 24 charges of deploying unlicensed operatives and one of failing to provide information to the Security Industry Authority (SIA), which regulates the private security industry, at a hearing at Nottingham Magistrates' Court.

Stealth Security provides security guards, dog handlers and mobile patrols to companies across the county.

SIA investigator John Montague said: "The investigation into Stealth's security provision has already led to the prosecution of several of Turner's employees who were found working unlicensed so we are pleased that he has been convicted of the more serious crime of supplying unlicensed operatives.

"The court clearly recognised the importance of an SIA licence in helping to maintain public safety. By deploying unlicensed operatives, Turner put the public at risk and showed blatant disregard for the law."

Turner was sentenced to a 12-month community punishment order, with 40 hours of unpaid work, and was ordered to pay costs of Ł1,000.

Matthew Kelly, an employee of Turner, admitted six charges of working without a licence at hearing at Nottingham Magistrates' Court in June. Kelly, 56, of Highbury Vale, Bulwell, worked as a security guard at Bestwood Lodge Hotel in Bestwood Country Park between October 20 and November 22 last year.

He was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of Ł100.

Another Stealth employee, Mark Fairfield, 45, pleaded guilty in September to working without a security licence.

Fairfield worked as a security guard at Erewash Indoor Bowling club between September 22 and November 12 last year. He will be sentenced later this month.

Stealth Security was unavailable for comment.