Private landlord tycoon Fergus Wilson guilty of assault after boiler dispute
Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Legal
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A multi-millionaire property tycoon, who sent out letters earlier in the year telling his housing benefit tenants to move out, has been found guilty of assaulting an estate agent.
Fergus Wilson, who along with wife Judith has a portfolio of around 1,000 properties, attacked Daniel Wells during an argument about a boiler.
The private landlord had denied attacking the 31-year-old but a judge at Folkestone Magistrates' Court did not believe his story.
The court heard that Wilson burst into estate agents Property Lettings and Sales in Folkestone on 19 January 2013 and shouted "Right you little shit" at Mr Wells.
The property magnate then punched Mr Wells on the temple, knocking him off of his chair.
Mr Wells told the court: "I turned my chair to the right, at which point he struck me on the left side of my head.
"It felt like a closed fist. Mr Wilson is a large gentleman and maybe not too steady on his feet. He fell towards me and sort of bundled me off my chair and I ended up in the window display.
"Mr Wilson was still trying to grab at me while I was on the floor. I managed to get to my feet and I noticed Mr Wilson had his fist raised ready to punch again. I said to him I didn't think that was a very good idea."
Mr Wells had contacted Wilson earlier in the day to tell him that one of his tenants had phoned to report that her boiler had stopped working.
The estate agent said that Wilson then became abusive on the phone.
Half an hour later, Wilson, 68, turned up at the office, and proceeded to attack Mr Wells.
Wilson told the court that Mr Wells had fallen out of his swivel chair by accident.
His wife, Judith, who was sitting outside in the couples' car claimed to have seen Mr Wells fall out of his chair of his own accord.
It is not the first time the Wilsons have fared badly in court.
In 2008, Fergus Wilson was found guilty of driving while using a mobile phone - though he claimed he was merely "singing into" a drinks carton.
Last year, the Wilsons lost out in a legal dispute with a gas engineer who had issued an 'At Risk' notice at one of the landlords' properties, after they sent him a summons demanding £5,000 in lost rent.
After being found guilty for his latest infraction, Wilson was fined £1,650 - £150 of which was compensation for Mr Wells.
The Wilsons, who own around 1,000 properties in Kent, caused consternation earlier this year when they sent out letters to all of their housing benefit claimants telling them to move out.
Justifying the move, Fergus Wilson argued that "Rents have gone north, and benefit levels south. The gap is such that I have taken the decision to withdraw from taking tenants on housing benefit."