Video-maker cel­e­brates as ty­coon fails in sue bid

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE - By Guy Bell gbell@thek­m­group.co.uk @gbel­lKM

A mil­lion­aire prop­erty ty­coon has failed in his bid to sue a YouTube vlog­ger for £10,000 af­ter a county court district judge threw the case out.

Fer­gus Wil­son’s de­ci­sion to ban “coloureds” from any of his rental prop­er­ties sparked out­rage and the 69-year-old was tar­geted by Danny Hyde in a video posted in March 2017.

Mr Wil­son took of­fence to be­ing branded a rude term and at­tempted to sue Mr Hyde, from Som­er­set, for £9,999 af­ter claim­ing his in­sults breached the 1988 Ma­li­cious Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Act.

Dur­ing a case heard at Yeovil County Court last week, a judge dis­missed the case brought against the 29-year-old painter and dec­o­ra­tor stat­ing it had “no ba­sis in law”.

Mr Wil­son was found to have breached sec­tion 12 of the 2010 Equal­ity Act when he sent in­struc­tions to a let­ting agent stat­ing he did not want “coloured” peo­ple in his prop­er­ties be­cause of deal­ing with curry smells at the end of ten­an­cies.

Mr Hyde, a YouTu­ber with 1,300 sub­scribers, sug­gested Mr Wil­son was “com­ing across as racist” due to the pol­icy.

The court case took place in the land­lord’s ab­sence and he was or­dered to pay £3,000 in le­gal fees to a le­gal ac­cess char­ity.

Mr Hyde was rep­re­sented on a pro bono ba­sis by Ger­ard Clarke of Black­stone Cham­bers.

Fol­low­ing the case’s dis­missal, Mr Hyde posted a video to his fol­low­ers as he cel­e­brated the de­ci­sion with a can of Stella Ar­tois from his Glas­ton­bury home.

In his video he said: “Next time you sue me Fer­gus try and ac­tu­ally turn up. I was there ready to be sued and Fer­gus, who was do­ing the su­ing, was nowhere to be seen.

“We have learnt it is per­fectly le­gal to call Fer­gus Wil­son a xxxxx so guys, knock your­selves out.”

Mr Wil­son, of Boughton Monchelsea, sug­gested the case should be heard at the Supreme Court af­ter the judge deemed the case not suit­able for a county court.

He said: “The ac­tual words in his video should be beeped. I would have found that ac­cept­able. Peo­ple should ex­er­cise care us­ing any­thing that would ad­versely in­flu­ence school­child­ren.”

Mr Wil­son has al­ways de­nied he was racist, and ar­gued this par­tic­u­lar hous­ing cri­te­ria was on eco­nomic grounds due to deal­ing with food aro­mas. Ger­ard Clarke, rep­re­sent­ing Mr Hyde at Yeovil County Court, praised the judge in the case and said he stepped in to help his client when he saw the predica­ment the dec­o­ra­tor found him­self in on so­cial me­dia.

He said: “This wasn’t dif­fi­cult to get thrown out. It was a hope­less case and the judge was clued up and could see straight away it was non­sense.

“It seemed to be a clas­sic case of a wealthy man try­ing to in­tim­i­date some­one into shut­ting up. Danny is just a young lad from Glas­ton­bury who is a painter and dec­o­ra­tor.

“I thought it was an ex­am­ple of the courts be­ing mis­used so I thought I would get in­volved.”

The case lasted just 15 min­utes be­fore the judge dis­missed it. Fer­gus Wil­son had not trav­elled to the hear­ing and in­stead paid an agent £180 to stand in for him.

Mr Clarke added: “It just looked like a great in­equal­ity of power. The courts were be­ing used for vengeance and that isn’t what they are for.”

Danny Hyde cel­e­brates af­ter prop­erty ty­coon Fer­gus Wil­son, right, failed in his at­tempts to sue the painter and dec­o­ra­tor over a YouTube video

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