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Loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson in new bid to have misrepresentation charges dropped

Loyalist activist Jamie Bryson has launched new legal arguments to have the criminal charges against him dropped.

Appearing himself at Downpatrick Magistrates Court, the Co Down man argued the Security Industry Authority ‘erred in law’ when it was given its initial mandate four years ago and had also “breached its duty of candor”. of an abuse of process.

Mr Bryson is accused of making a false statement to the Security Industry Authority and of recklessly making a false statement on June 6, 2018 that “JJ Security Services Limited never traded”.

In a previous High Court hearing, the SIA wrote to Mr Bryson in the summer of 2018 asking for information about JJ Security Services Ltd, a company of which he was an appointed director.

This was part of a survey of gate staff operating in the North Down region.

In his response, Mr Bryson said JJ Security Services Ltd had never traded and had no relevant information.

According to a £450 bill for ‘SIA-licensed event supervisors’ at a bonfire festival in Bangor in 2017, a document created by JJ Security Services, five men were provided for six hours at a rate £15 per hour. each.

District Judge Amanda Brady praising him for his ‘well-thought-out arguments on a complex question of law’, Mr Bryson argued that to get their summons, the SIA had to convince a judge there was enough evidence to justify it .

But he claimed that to do so they provided the judge with the “illegally obtained invoice” which was for a single business entity and not a limited company, neither of which had the same address.

“Put simply, the SIA produced evidence from a single business entity to support the claim that a limited liability company was trading – this is the fatal and somewhat elementary error at the heart of this case,” Bryson said.

He argued that, as the summons should never have been issued, “the remedy for such an error is to stay the proceedings”.

He further argued that as a private prosecutor, the SIA had a “duty of candor” to disclose information to the defendant insofar as it was only recently, and well after the issuance of the citation, that a statement had been leaked which “strongly points away from JJ Security Services Ltd having traded and therefore, towards my innocence”.

Mr Bryson said: ‘It is a cardinal error that is grossly improper at best and bad faith at worst in failing to discharge the duty of candor in bringing these very relevant matters to the attention of the judge. of the district issuing the summons.”

This breach, the loyalist activist claimed, could also be resolved by Ms Brady stopping the proceedings.

While SIA attorney Andrew Brownlie said he could make oral submissions on the questions, the district judge said she would prefer to have points in writing given the complexity of the case. .

“This case could end up somewhere else and if I make a decision, I want this court to know exactly what I had in front of me before making that decision,” the judge said.

“This is a very complex and complicated case and I will have to go through every part of it before making a decision.”

The case was adjourned to Wednesday May 11 for further submissions.