The boss of a high-profile Birmingham security firm is to stand trial after being charged with blackmail.

Ken Norville, 41, is director of Millennium Security Plus 2000, which provides door staff to bars and hotels around the city centre including the Hyatt and Hilton, the Sports Cafe on Broad Street and the Bank restaurant in Brindleyplace.

Mr Norville, from Studley, Warwickshire, appeared before a judge at Worcester Crown Court on February 19 charged with one count of blackmail.

Also in the dock on the same charge was Dean Wale, 42, a director and shareholder in a previous security firm run by Mr Norville. Both men pleaded not guilty to the allegations and will return to Worcester Crown Court on October 11 for a trial.

The charge at the February hearing alleged the pair had “with a view to gain for themselves or another made unwanted demands of money from John Philip Rawlings with menaces”.

The two defendants have worked in the security industry since the late 1990s when they ran a firm called Millennium Security Solutions from an office in Smethwick.

Mr Wale was a director of the company which was liquidated in 2008 before Mr Norville went on to set up Millennium Security Plus 2000 at an office in Brindleyplace.

Mr Norville refused to comment about the allegations.

It is not the first time the two men have hit the headlines. In June 2008 they were hailed as heroes for tracking down three bulldog puppies which had been stolen from outside a house in Kenilworth.