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Fergus Wilson's wife Judith appears at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court

By Sean Axtell

A controversial property tycoon who owns hundreds of homes was hauled before a judge for allegedly failing to provide hot water.

Judith Wilson, 68, wife of buy-to-let landlord Fergus Wilson, 70, appeared at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) brought the trial after serving Wilson an abatement notice in September last year.

Fergus Wilson with his wife Judith
Fergus Wilson with his wife Judith

It ordered Wilson, of Boughton Monchelsea, to repair their tenants' boiler system in one of her properties in Emperor Way, Kingsnorth, but the authority claims the notice was ignored.

During the trial, prosecutor Sophie Gray accused Wilson - who denied failing to comply with the abatement notice - of “fabricating” attempts to restore the boiler and showing “clear disregard” for tenants Mark and Sarah Manser.

However, defence barrister Ben Leb argued Mr and Mrs Manser denied Wilson access to the property, and so she was unaware of the repairs needed.

Mr Leb also told district judge Justin Barron his client believed the tenants caused damage to the water system, causing the home to flood.

Wilson appeared at Folkestone Magistrates' Court
Wilson appeared at Folkestone Magistrates' Court

Giving evidence, Judith Wilson said: “When we attended the property on September 29 I parked the car and a young man on a bicycle circled around me, again and again.

“He was making rude gestures and doing wheelies, I really don’t like to remember it.

“I wasn’t going to get out and go to the property with that going on, it was intimidating.”

On separate occasions, the tenants continued to refuse the multi-millionaire landlords access, the court heard.

Also giving evidence, Fergus Wilson argued he gave ABC the green light to carry out the emergency repairs itself.

But Miss Gray told the court: “In my submission you can’t expect a local authority to carry out emergency works when you have a property portfolio of 300 homes.

“It’s clear in a number of emails the council was not going to carry out this work.

“Five days would have been more than enough time to carry out the work at the property.”

Judge Barron said a decision will be made at the same court on November 7.

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