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Millionaire, 70, who refused to tear down Britain’s best man cave JAILED after battle with council

A MILLIONAIRE has been jailed for ignoring a court order to take down Britain’s best man cave after a lengthy battle with the council.

Graham Wildin, 70, will wake up behind bars this weekend after failing to dismantle the leisure complex at the back of his home in Cinderford, Gloucestershire.

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Graham Wildin has been jailed after failing to comply with a court order to dismantle “Britain’s best man cave”Credit: SWNS
The millionaire illegally build the leisure centre for himself and his family in his back garden

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The millionaire illegally build the leisure centre for himself and his family in his back gardenCredit: SWNS

The millionaire accountant, 70, was told by a judge that he would be getting banged up for six weeks.

Judge Jarman QC told Wildin that throughout the history of the case his attitude showed he had set his mind against complying with the Forest of Dean District Council.

He was led away by court security guards wheeling a small suitcase and put in a prison van outside High Court in Cardiff, reports Gloucestershire Live.

But that is not the end of the eight year planning row over his incredible sports complex.

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Judge Jarman QC told Wildin that when he comes out of prison he has 18 weeks to comply with the original order to completely dismantle the facilities.

The judge did not accept the accountant’s claims that he had done most of the clearance work but could not afford to pay people to do the rest or physically do it himself.

And he refused to adjourn the case for two months after Wildin said he needed more time to hire a solicitor and claim legal aid.

The millionaire fought the authorities every step of the way but in 2018 he was given two years to comply. 

After moving his classic car collection onto the street to create “parking chaos” in March, it is claimed he purchased neighbouring land and property for his family – to block any attempts by the council to have it forcibly removed.

In April, he was ordered by the courts to destroy the complex that includes a cinema, squash court, mini casino and a bowling alley.

He allegedly tried in vain to create a fortress via a legal loophole to keep council bulldozers away.

Over the years planning inspectors and courts have agreed that it was built without permission and given various deadlines for certain things to be done.

One of those conditions was giving Wildin 18 weeks to cut off the water, electricity and gas and remove all the fixtures, fittings and furniture from inside the building back in June 2021.

Yesterday the court heard that when enforcement officer Stephen Colgate visited the property on Thursday August 11 with two PCSOs, he found lights on, taps running, toilets flushing and the noise of a gas boiler working.

The casino and bar had been removed but most of work that needed to be done to comply with the court order had not been carried out.

Mr Collgate produced nearly 100 photographs taken inside the building to compare with a checklist of 32 things Wildin was supposed to have done to comply with the court order.

He tried to argue that the evidence should not be admitted because the council official had turned up without notice and forced his way into the locked property.

However, council solicitor Helen Blundell told the court they had every right to check out the non domestic property without permission.

The Judge said he knew when Mr Wildin created the leisure centre without permission he was gambling and no rational person would have taken that risk unless they could afford to do so.

He noted that Mr Wildin started to transfer his accountancy business and other to his children after the last court case and said this probably showed he could have complied with the order in the past had he chosen to do so.

He said it was clear from Mr Wildin’s attitude over the past eight years that he didn’t expect to comply.

The judge told Mr Wildin he would enact the order and send him to prison for six weeks.

He awarded £10,000 costs to the council and told Mr Wildin to render the building unusable when he comes out of prison or face being brought back before the court.

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Wildin was previously accused of going to war with his neighbours to do everything to try and save the complex.

He first sparked outrage amongst his neighbours when he was later found to have carried out the work without the required planning permission in 2014.

His property included a private casino and bar

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His property included a private casino and barCredit: SWNS
And he also installed his very own bowling alley

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And he also installed his very own bowling alleyCredit: SWNS



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