The jailed former owner of a Shropshire-based security business, has been ordered to pay £3,608.21 as a result of proceeds of crime proceedings.
Matthew Davies and Maria Francis, both of Bridgnorth, were the former owner and director respectively of Showtime Security Guards Ltd. They appeared last Friday (04 October) at Shrewsbury Crown Court where Matthew Davies was handed a director disqualification order for the next two years and required to pay £3,608.21 within three months. The order, given under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, follows our successful prosecution in June 2018. Maria Francis’ proceeds of crime hearing has been adjourned until 25 October 2019 at Shrewsbury Crown Court.
If Davies fails to pay the confiscation order he could face a further two months imprisonment. After that time the processes will continue to recover the £3,608.21.
Davies was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment on 27 July 2018 for perverting the course of justice. He had attempted to intimidate a witness prior to his trial for supplying unlicensed security guards. Francis pleaded guilty to supplying unlicensed security guards to several businesses in Shropshire, and was given a 12-month conditional discharge. At the time Showtime Security was fined £2,700 and ordered to pay £500 in costs.
Davies served half of his prison sentence and was released in early December 2018. He continues to serve his sentence under supervision, which will expire in December 2019.
Pete Easterbrook, of the SIA’s Criminal Investigations Team, said:
“Following conviction, we will use our powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover any profit made from criminality, making it harder for individuals to re-enter the industry, and ensuring that crime does really does not pay. The consequences for Matthew Davies have been considerable, and in addition to serving a term of imprisonment following his conviction, he must now return the money he made from his illegal activities and comply with the terms of a director disqualification order.
The behaviour of Matthew Davies in this case exposed him as someone who believed he could gain whatever he wanted through intimidation, threats and bullying. Like so many bullies, he applied this tactic to those he encountered in the course of his business, those he employed, witnesses in this case and several others who were unfortunate enough to have dealings with him. I am absolutely clear that there is no place whatsoever for individuals like Davies within a professional and respected security industry. They are simply not welcome, and should carefully consider whether it is the right choice of career for them. Those who do engage in this kind of behaviour, are associated to it, or in any way condone it, can expect to come under very close scrutiny and be dealt with robustly.
Venues to which Showtime provided unlicensed security included Tuffins Supermarket in Craven Arms, the VDubs in the Valley event, the construction site of Shrewsbury College’s Radbrooke campus, and the Ludlow Foyer, which provides residential and support services to vulnerable young people.
Our investigation into Davies and Francis’ dealings started in December 2016 following receipt of information by West Mercia Police that Showtime Security Guards Ltd was employing unlicensed security guards.
In July 2017, our investigators formally interviewed Davies and Francis. It later became apparent that Davies had contacted a witness and attempted to pervert the course of justice by placing them under pressure not to attend court.
The court heard voice recordings of Davies using strong language in an attempt to stop the witness giving evidence. He made comments referring to the witness being “ripped apart in court”, and “plagued” if they testified against him.
Showtime Security Guards Ltd was liquidated on 5 September 2018.
Notes to Editors:
- The Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”) sets out the legislative scheme for the recovery of criminal assets with criminal confiscation being the most commonly used power. Confiscation occurs after a conviction has taken place.
- POCA investigations consider criminal offending in a proceeding six-year period, which may lead to a court applying a confiscation order for the return of assets derived for criminal activity.
- The security guards working at the Tuffins Supermarket Craven Arms did not have the job title of a ‘security guard’. However, the judge’s view was that the staff supplied to the supermarket were undertaking security duties, within their roles, and therefore were legally required to be licensed.
- By law, security operatives working under contract must hold and display a valid SIA licence. Information about SIA enforcement and penalties can be found on the website.
- Click on the link for the act of intending to pervert the course of public justice is an offence under the common law of England and Wales.
- The offence relating to the Private Security Industry Act (2001) that is mentioned in the news release is: Section 5 supplying unlicensed guards.
- The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the United Kingdom, reporting to the Home Secretary under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. Our main duties are: the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities; and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.
- For further information about the Security Industry Authority or to sign up for email updates visit www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk. The SIA is also on Facebook (Security Industry Authority) and Twitter (SIAuk).