Hill was found guilty of negligence in his duty as a director, under Sections 5 and 23 of the Private Security Industry Act (PSIA) and fined £150. He had already pleaded guilty on behalf of the company at first appearance in June 2023. His company ACE Security Specialist Ltd. was fined £100. He was also ordered to pay court costs of £500.
This was the final case in a series of prosecutions resulting from the Security Industry Authority’s (SIA) inspection and enforcement operation in venues across Telford, Shrewsbury, and Wolverhampton. The operation was carried out with the assistance from West Mercia Police on 22 October 2021.
During the operation the SIA investigators found a security operative, Stephen Dion, working without a licence at a Shrewsbury night club. Further investigation identified Kenneth Bailey as his manager and an SIA licence holder. He was also performing the role of head doorman at the club. Bailey was prosecuted on 28 June 2023 for managing illegal security. Dion was prosecuted on 4 November 2022 after entering an immediate guilty plea for working without a licence.
Further investigations revealed that the supplier for Dion was ACE Security Specialist Ltd. Hill was the sole director of the company and has since put the company into voluntary liquidation.
During the hearing, District Judge Richard Bennett observed that there were plenty of opportunities when Dion’s licence could have been checked, and Hill failed to do so. In that regard, he was neglectful in his duty as a director. It was reasonable to ask Bailey to have carried out those checks and had he done so, Hill would have realised that Dion had been unlicensed.
Judge Bennett commented at the sentencing:
As a director of a company, Mr Hill had considerable responsibility and it was not merely a label. Ignorance of the law is no defence.
Jenny Hart, one of the SIA’s criminal investigations managers said:
This is an example of what happens when those entrusted with public safety ignore the law. The actions of Stephen Dion, Kenneth Bailey and David Hill breached the Private Security Industry Act and public’s trust in licensed security. By letting Dion work without a valid SIA licence, Bailey put the safety of the public at risk. Hill was negligent in his role as a director and should have been vigilant of the actions of those working for him.