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Controversial landlord given suspended sentence over harrassment

fergus wilson landlord

Controversial landlord Fergus Wilson has been handed a suspended prison sentence after being found in contempt of court for breaching an injunction preventing him from harassing staff and councillors at Ashford Borough Council.

The High Court hearing follows an earlier case when the authority obtained an injunction restraining the Maidstone-based multi-millionaire and requiring that he only had contact with one senior council officer.

However, the court heard he had continued to contact and harass staff and councillors on a range of issues, on multiple occasions.

Wilson was previously found to have sent 454 pieces of correspondence to council officials between February 2016 and July 2020.

In May 2022, he was ordered to pay £125,000 to the authority as a part payment ‘on account’ while the full costs were assessed.

Six months

In the latest hearing, Judge Anthony Dunne sentenced him to six months in prison, suspended for three years, and ordered Wilson, who represented himself in court, to pay £75,000 in costs - half of the council’s estimated costs.

Judge Dunne said: “I have considered the defendant’s reasons as to why it was necessary for him to breach the single point of contact provision. I find that they lack merit. As can be seen, the communications with Noel Ovenden do not support the defendant’s account that they fulfil a legitimate political purpose.

“The most obvious example of this is the communication…where the defendant writes to Noel Ovenden to suggest that members of his legal department, including Samantha Clarke, are guilty of misfeasance and should go to prison. This is not legitimate political comment, it is a continuation of the harassment which the injunction order was intended to restrain.”

Wilson previously announced that was selling his entire property portfolio, which at one point was thought to amount to more than 900 properties.

Pic credit: BBC