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 at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Friday 4 October 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 a successful prosecution in June last year by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). 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 authorities will continue to pursue the £3,608.21.
Davies was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment on 27 July last year for perverting the course of justice. He had attempted to intimidate a witness prior to his trial for supplying unlicensed security officers. Francis pleaded guilty to supplying unlicensed security officers to several businesses in Shropshire and was given a 12-month conditional discharge. At the time, Showtime Security Guards Ltd 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, which will expire in December 2019, under supervision.
Proceeds of Crime Act
Pete Easterbrook of the SIA’s criminal investigations team commented: “Following conviction, we will use our powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover any profit made from criminality, thereby making it harder for individuals to re-enter the industry and ensuring that crime really doesn’t pay. The consequences for Matthew Davies have been considerable. 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.”
Easterbrook added: “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’m clear that there’s no place whatsoever for individuals like Davies within a professional and respected security industry. They’re not welcome, and should carefully consider whether it’s the right choice of career for them. Those who do engage in this kind of behaviour, are associated to it or who in any way condone it can expect to come under very close scrutiny and be dealt with robustly.”
Information from West Mercia Police
Venues to which Showtime provided unlicensed security staff 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.
The investigation by the SIA 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 officers.
In July 2017, SIA 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 prevent the witness from 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 as a business on 5 September last year.