Boston landlord assaulted autistic tenant after dispute over wi-fi router, court is told
Bradley Gordon Olson, 49, of Horncastle Road, admitted assaulting the 25 year old tenant, Anthony Barton, who was said in court to be autistic and to have 'problems with vocalising himself which leads him to be frustrated'.
Jim Clare, prosecuting at Boston Magistrates Court, said Mr Barton lived in one of Olson's rented properties.
He said Olson went to the property on April 27 and removed the wi-fi from Mr Barton's room, which led to an argument with Mr Barton saying the cost of it was included in his rent.
Mr Clare said Olson was angry and pushed Mr Barton with both hands, who fell over.
He said that previously Mr Barton had been aggressive towards Olson's wife over unpaid rent, which he had withheld pending repairs being carried out.
In interview, Olson told the police he did not know Mr Barton was autistic and said: “I just blew up and pushed him.”
Roger Lowther, mitigating, said Olson 'bitterly regretted ' the whole incident.
He said he had no involvement in the day to day running of the properties which was carried out by his wife but which they had now handed over to an agent.
He said Olson had only ever seen Mr Barton on two occasions and did not realise he had any issues at all.
Mr Lowther said Olson only went around to see him because his wife had been left crying as a result of the argument with Mr Barton that same morning, and had removed the wi-fi, which was not part of the contract, because it was not running well.
He said Mr Barton said he would just attach another one and Olson then 'saw red' and pushed him.
“He didn't expect him to fall over,” he said, “and now regrets this.”
“It was a very short-lived and isolated incident,” he added.
The magistrates said this was 'not the way to behave'.
Giving him a 12 month conditional discharge, they told Olson that 'violence cannot be the answer to a problem'.
He was also ordered to pay £105 in costs and charges.