Britains worst landlord given £125,000 fine for abusing council for a decade

A multi-millionaire property mogul dubbed Britain's worst landlord has been ordered to pay a six figure sum in court costs after abusing a local council for a decade.

Last year Fergus Wilson, 72, was banned for life from contacting Ashford Borough Council (ABC) after a 10-year campaign of abuse against its staff.

The High Court made a temporary injunction permanent and last week ordered Wilson to make part payment in costs of £125,000, while the full amount is considered.

The buy-to-let landlord, from Maidstone, sent hundreds of letters, emails and phone calls complaining about councillors and legal representatives and even told one councillor to kill himself.

ABC's representative, Adam Soloman QC, handed in 454 copies of correspondence to the High Court, sent by Wilson to council officials between February 2016 and July 2020.

Some workers had received daily messages of abuse, the court heard, leading to some feeling bullied and distressed, being unable to respond to allegations and breaking down in tears.

Included in the council's evidence was a letter, sent to Council Leader Gerry Clarkson's home address, calling him a "buffoon", "an a**", "a bag of " and said he should "do all the young people in Ashford a service and commit suicide".

Wilson also referred to a female member of staff as an "objectionable lady" and "Michelin lady" in an email where he called for her to be sacked.

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Wilson had tried to defend his actions by submitting a photograph of himself with the hashtag "Fat " written underneath.

Last week he objected to paying costs arguing that his barrister, Alexander Deakin, had come off the case months ago and therefore had no authority.

The notorious landlord also tried to argue that he should not have to pay anything until after the appeal he intends to make.

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However, Mr Allen said the barrister, who was instructed under the Direct Access Scheme, had agreed to the order and Wilson was bound by it.

He also praised the council's action saying it was the right thing to do.

Wilson must pay the £125,000 to ABC by 4pm on May 17. It is thought to be just under 75% of the total value, with the council believing £170,000 is a reasonable sum total.

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