A 'NEGLIGENT' security firm boss sent unlicensed bouncers to work at pubs and clubs in Northwich town centre for months.

Shaun O’Neill’s company, I Guard Security Ltd, sent two female door staff with expired licences to safeguard staff and customers at pubs on Crown Street and High Street between August 12 and October 22, 2022.  

This came to light when officers from the Security Industry Authority (SIA), along with police and council licensing officers, did spot checks on bouncers at pubs in the town on October 22, 2022.

Two bouncers employed by I Guard Security were found with licences which expired more than two months before.

A check of the pubs’ staff sign-in registers also found both had done several shifts since their licences had expired.

The bouncers were cautioned and admitted working while in possession of an expired licence.

They also confirmed they were employed by O’Neill’s firm.

The 47-year-old was interviewed by the SIA criminal investigation team on June 1, 2023, in Liverpool.

O’Neill, who was sole director of I Guard Security Ltd at the times of the offences, denied either bouncer was working for his firm when they had been caught. 

SIA officers also discovered his nephew, Jack O’Neill, had been working as a bouncer at a nightclub in Southport, Merseyside, while pretending to be his uncle, in May and June 2023.

The 27-year-old had no licence at all, so had used his uncle's name when signing in for work at the club.

Registers and CCTV confirmed he had done this eight times in the previous month.

O’Neill told investigators his nephew had taken his licence without his permission, and he had no idea he was working at the club.

Jack said his uncle had given him the licence and had asked him to work there. 

Shaun O’Neill, of Tybalt Way, Prescot, appeared at Warrington Magistrates Court on December 20 last year charged with three counts of using an unlicensed security operative.

I Guard Security Ltd, of which he was the sole director, was charged with the same offences.  

Despite his earlier denials, he pleaded guilty on all counts, and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £423, and a victim surcharge of £400.

I Guard Security Ltd was also fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £424 court costs, as well as a victim surcharge of £1,200.

Jack O’Neill, of Stansfield Road, Manchester, also appeared at court where he pleaded guilty to working without a licence.

He was fined £202, ordered to pay £423 prosecution costs, and a victim surcharge of £81.

Speaking after the case, SIA’s criminal investigations manager, Mark Chapman, said: “Shaun O’Neill and I Guard Security have been sentenced having admitted deploying illegal security into the Cheshire and Merseyside night-time economies.

“The SIA licensing regime exists to protect the public.

"O’Neill let down his clients and the patrons of the venues on several occasions, showing a pattern of negligence and poor conduct.

“We are grateful to our enforcement partners Cheshire Police and Cheshire West and Chester Council for their assistance in helping us to identify the licence offending.”