Published: 14:27, 09 November 2019
| Updated: 08:12, 11 November 2019
Multi-millionaire former landlord Fergus Wilson has been convicted of racially abusing a traffic warden who gave him a parking ticket.
Footage of the 71-year-old's racist rant was captured by the Slovakian-born enforcement officer's body-worn camera.
But even after his conviction at Medway Magistrates' Court, Wilson, still denies there was any racial element to the incident and says he will appeal.
The charge arose from an incident 18 months ago in April 2018, when Wilson, from Maidstone, parked outside two properties owned by his wife in Queens Road, Maidstone, which were being renovated for conversion into housing for women who had suffered domestic abuse.
Wilson maintains that because the road was being resurfaced, the parking restriction signage had been removed, so he was angry when parking attendant Zuzana Austin, 38, originally from Slovakia, gave him a parking ticket.
During the ensuing exchange, which was caught on the warden's body-worn camera, Wilson told the warden: "Do you even speak English? Take your stupid f****** f***y back to your own place where you came from."
Wilson said that blonde-haired and blue-eyed Mrs Austin, who is married to an Englishman, was the same race as him, so it was impossible to say he was being racist.
Advised that racial abuse could mean abuse of nationality, Wilson said that also couldn't apply since he understood that Mrs Austin had British nationality.
Wilson also asserted that use of the word "f******" could no longer be considered offensive in modern society as it was so commonplace.
Nevertheless, he was convicted and ordered to pay £650 costs.
A sentence will be imposed at a later hearing. He faces a possible fine and/or community sentence.
Surprisingly, Wilson had paid the £70 parking ticket promptly. He told KentOnline that he took the "pragmatic approach " that it was easier to pay the fine than waste time fighting it.
Wilson, who defended himself at the trial, maintained afterwards that the case had been a travesty of justice from the start, with a history of missing video footage and seven delayed starts. The video of his police interview, that he said he was entitled to see, was not served on him until a week after the trial.
Wilson was originally additionally charged with assault, but this was dropped by the court.
The assault charge arose out of an allegation that Wilson had poked Mrs Austin with his finger, which was not borne out by the video evidence.
Mrs Austin, 38, said that the incident has left her traumatised.
Wilson, a former maths teacher, and his wife Judith, from Heath Road, Boughton Monchelsea, bought their first buy-to-let property in 1986 and built up a property empire of 750 homes across Maidstone and Ashford said to be worth around £200m. They have since reduced their holdings and all the remaining 300 properties are now owned by Mrs Wilson.
Wilson previously made the headlines in 2017, when it emerged he had instructed his letting agents that he did not want "coloured" tenants "because of the curry smell" they left behind.