A landlord tycoon with a £180 million empire has been found guilty of assaulting an estate agent over a faulty boiler… The shamed property owner, Fergus Wilson, who is 453rd in the Sunday Times Rich List, hit Daniel Wells, an estate agent, in the head, which sent him flying from his chair. The 65-year-old, who has nearly 1,000 properties, got so angry about the broken boiler that he marched into a PLS office in Folkestone, Kent, where he smacked Wells to the floor after losing his temper shouting abuse at him. In his defence, Wilson argued to the court that he didn’t push him out of his chair and insisted that he fell.
Wilson added that at 22 stone, he can’t even bend down to tie his own shoelaces, let alone attack the agent. At the Magistrates Court in Folkestone, Wilson admitted: “The long and short of it is I did call him a little sh*t. “I didn’t bundle him out of his chair at all. I went round, probably quite quickly, and he fell out of his chair. He grabbed at my arm. “I didn’t object because I went forward so he could grab it. I then helped him up. I’ve fallen out of swivel chairs in that office twice. “I can’t even lift my arms to put my jacket on. I can’t bend over to put my socks on or tie my shoe laces. “I’m a big fellow of 22 stone yet you say I didn’t cause bruising or a black eye. Do you agree that doesn’t sound very likely? “If I had intended doing him an injury I probably would have kicked him a few times while he was on the floor and I don’t think he’s suggesting I did.” Wilson’s wife, Judith, 53, told the Court that she saw Mr Wells fall off his chair accidentally as she sat outside the building in their Land Rover Discovery.
However, Magistrates convicted Mr Wilson of assault because they believed he and his wife were lying. Judge Justin Barron told Mr Wilson: “I don’t believe this was an accidental fall from the chair. I believe you were in a temper and struck him one blow to the side of the head.” Wilson ended up having to fork out £1,650, including £150 worth of compensation to Mr Wells. What other controversies has Wilson got into? Wilson’s wife, Judith, demanded a tenant pay £3,000 for a new bathroom suite in 2009 after the tenant had damaged a cistern lid. The tenant had offered to replace the lid, but Judith tried to take her to court, before having the case thrown out by the judge as he had doubts she would even replace the bathroom. In January this year, Wilson blasted out eviction notices to anyone on benefits, resulting in 200 people getting evicted, because he had lost £800,000 because of them.
Wilson has since told letting agents that he will not take on any more tenants on housing benefits, but is happy to rent his properties out to Eastern European migrants who Wilson admits are “a good category of tenant who don’t default on their rent”.