Jamie Bryson seeks leave to have door staff case heard in UK’s highest court

Loyalist activist Jamie Bryson is attempting to take a legal battle linked to an investigation into the supply of door staff to the UK’s highest court.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 6:17 pm
Jamie Bryson. Picture: Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Earlier this month the Security Industry Authority (SIA) successfully challenged a District Judge’s decision ordering it to disclose police warrant material to Mr Bryson.

Senior judges in Belfast ruled there was no legal power for the direction to be issued.

Mr Bryson is now seeking leave to appeal that finding to the Supreme Court in London.

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The 31-year-old is facing a private prosecution for stating that a company in which he is a director has never traded.

Proceedings centre on a probe into door staff operating in the north Down area.

In 2018 the SIA issued a summons against Mr Bryson over an alleged false statement provided to the authority.

An invoice allegedly created by JJ Security Services for “SIA licensed event supervisors” formed part of the inquiries.

Previous courts heard it detailed five men being provided for six hours, at a rate of £15 per hour, at a bonfire event in July 2011.

Mr Bryson, who denies any wrongdoing, is contesting the ongoing case at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court.

The SIA mounted a judicial review challenge over a decision taken by the District Judge in May this year.

He was said to have directed the private security industry regulator to disclose materials in a production order obtained by the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Lawyers representing the body argued that it was an unlawful step because the Magistrates’ Court lacked the required jurisdiction.

Divisional Court judges held that any presumed order “lacks formal validity” and is to be quashed.

The case involved an oral decision by the District Judge which was never drawn up and issued, they pointed out.

Mr Bryson, who appeared as a notice party in the challenge, has lodged an application for leave to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court on a point of law of general public importance.

The high-profile loyalist is seeking further judicial scrutiny on the powers of a Magistrates’ Court to order disclosure in summary criminal proceedings prior to a plea of not guilty.

He said: “The District Judge who granted my application is a very experienced and highly regarded judicial figure.

“I maintain that his decision was correct, and I hope the Divisional Court permits that to be ultimately determined by the Supreme Court.”