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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Antrim man prosecuted for working illegally in a Belfast nightclub with a suspended licence

Security hi vis vest

Antrim man Ryan Wilkinson was prosecuted at Laganside Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 30 May for working illegally as a door supervisor in a Belfast nightclub.

The court fined Wilkinson £300, ordered him to pay £150 legal costs and £30 court costs. The prosecution was brought by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

SIA investigators and officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland carried out two planned inspections of venues in Belfast’s night-time economy on 28 September 2022 and Monday 3 October 2022.

During the inspection on 3 October 2022, Mr Wilkinson was found to be working without a valid SIA licence in a Belfast nightclub. When he was asked why he was not wearing a licence he told the investigators that he was a ticket collector.

As a former licence holder, the SIA suspended Mr Wilkinson’s licence on 18 August 2022. On 6 September 2022 Mr Wilkinson was convicted of assault at Antrim Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Ballymena.

On the previous assault charge Wilkinson was convicted of the attack on his girlfriend at the time, during which the court heard how he grabbed two handfuls of the woman’s hair and banged her head against a door frame, only letting go when another man intervened.

Mr Wilkinson was invited by SIA investigators to an interview-under-caution at Musgrave Police Station on 16 January 2023 when he denied working as an unlicensed door supervisor. He told the SIA investigator that he was working as a marshal.

On 30 January 2023 the SIA revoked his licence.

Jenny Hart, one of the criminal investigations managers at the SIA, said:

"Suspension means Mr Wilkinson was unable to work as a door supervisor, yet still chose to work illegally in Belfast’s night-time economy when his licence had been suspended.

"The SIA’s licensing regime is there to protect the public and a licence is awarded to a ‘fit and proper person’.

"Mr Wilkinson had been convicted of assault and the SIA had suspended his licence, yet he chose to carry on working around potentially vulnerable people who were out enjoying themselves. Mr Wilkinson was a risk to those people. Mr Wilkinson has a criminal record following these convictions."

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.

The SIA’s main duties are the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.


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