Guilty verdict for boss who supplied unlicensed security to school

A Lancashire company director who provided unlicensed security staff to a school has had his case referred to a higher court for sentencing.

Martin Coe, the former director of Evolution Security Services NW, was found guilty following a two-day trial at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on 05 and 06 October. The prosecution was brought by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

SIA investigators discovered that unlicensed security guards had worked for Coe on numerous occasions at Baines School in Poulton, the Wyre Light pub in Fleetwood, and at the Poulton Industrial Estate.

The District Judge presiding over the trial found Coe guilty of the supply of the two unlicensed security operatives. During the trial, the SIA had called three witnesses, who the judge called “professional and credible”. By contrast, she noted in her summing up that Coe’s evidence was “not credible”.

The matter was adjourned to Preston Crown Court for sentencing and to start the process of recovering assets from Coe under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Coe had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to failing to provide information to the SIA, despite being legally required to do so.

Nathan Salmon, of the SIA’s Criminal Investigation Team, said:

“Martin Coe refused to co-operate with an SIA investigation, and he has wasted court time by denying the charges against him. Providing unlicensed security staff to a school is a very serious matter. This is reflected in the fact that the judge in this trial has referred Coe’s case to a Crown Court for sentencing. The public, who expect the very highest standards from those who protect them, will be reassured that Coe will now be banned from working in security. In addition, we will be pursuing the recovery of any profit he has made from his crimes.”

Neil Reddington and Gavin Macaskill had originally been found working at the Wyre Light in May 2019 by a licensing officer from Lancashire Constabulary who was following up on reports of unlicensed operatives at the venue. Both men were employed by Evolution Security.

Reddington was sentenced at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on 29 February 2020.​

Sentencing of Coe will take place at Preston Crown Court on 04 November.​​

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