On Thursday 7 November, Oladeji Christopher Owolabi of West London pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud and one offence contrary to the Identity Documents Act at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. Owolabi is now in custody pending his sentencing at Wood Green Crown Court on Thursday 5 December. He applied for conditional bail at the hearing, which was refused by the magistrates.
At the hearing, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) added a further offence under the Identity Documents Act which can only be sentenced in the Crown Court.
Owolabi’s conviction follows an SIA investigation that started in 2017. Between April 2016 and November 2017 a security operative, supposedly named Olukayode Obanla, acted as a security officer at Haringey Sixth Form College in Tottenham. He was given the job at the college because he was using an SIA licence which he altered. He had also failed to gain his own licence due to his relevant criminal convictions which included using false identity documents.
The SIA’s investigation began after an anonymous tip-off to the Regulator and Haringey Sixth Form College. The SIA discovered that the documents “Obanla” used to gain his licence were fraudulent.
For more than a year, investigators pursued Owolabi to arrange an interview, but he refused to engage with them. That left the SIA with no choice but to issue a summons to the last known address of Owolabi.
Owolabi failed to attend court on Wednesday 6 November and, as a result, the court issued a warrant for his arrest. He then agreed to appear in court on Thursday 7 November.
Pete Easterbrook, one of the SIA’s criminal investigation team managers, said: “Owolabi was prosecuted and he will likely be jailed. He deliberately deceived his employer and betrayed their trust. He jeopardised the safety of vulnerable young people in his care at Haringey Sixth Form College. Owolabi has also undermined our licensing regime through his criminal acts which is entirely unacceptable. The magistrates recognised the seriousness of the criminality involved and, as such, Owolabi has been remanded in custody.”
Security company fined again
A Bolton-based security company has been fined at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court for supplying a door supervisor to a pub without checking first that he was properly licensed.
Elite Security (NW) Ltd and its area manager, Rhydian Davies, pleaded guilty on 5 November to supplying an unlicensed door supervisor to the Iron Dragon pub in Merthyr Tydfil on five separate occasions during October and November 2018. The door supervisor in question, Alan Blake, had his licence suspended by the SIA for violent behaviour in October last year. Blake then worked for Elite Security (NW) Ltd while suspended by fraudulently using his brother’s licence.
Elite Security (NW) Ltd had previously been found guilty of supplying unlicensed staff in a separate investigation, which was heard at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court back in November 2016.
Nathan Salmon of the SIA’s criminal investigation team said: “As an area manager, Rhydian Davies was required to ensure the licence status of the door supervisors he managed on behalf of his employer. This due diligence is required of anyone who’s managing licensable operatives who are protecting property or people in the interests of public safety. Elite Security (NW) Ltd didn’t have sufficient procedures in place to identify suspended licences and, as a result, the business has been prosecuted for a second time. We would urge security managers and businesses to pay attention to the basics. Failing to do so can lead to reputational damage and criminal penalties.”
Davies, who was the Cardiff area manager for Elite Security (NW) Ltd, was fined £389 and ordered to pay costs of £668, plus a victim surcharge of £38.
Elite Security (NW) Ltd was fined £800 in addition to having to pay costs of £668 and a victim surcharge of £80.
The case was originally referred to the SIA by South Wales Police following a report from a member of the public.