serious

Sheriff Fatman's in trouble again . . .

Nicky Hoogstraten has apparently been arrested in Zimbabwe, where of course he went to live after his unfortunate but well-deserved run-in with the British establishment (small business of having his goons kill someone, in case you weren't paying attention). Apparently over 20 billion Zimbabwean dollars were found at his house, which translates into about 87p 300 thousand quid.

Mr Hoogstraten's own deranged ravings can be found here.
Hoogstraten is one of the uglier characters spawned in this country - looks like he is up to his slum landlord tricks elsewhere. Pure scum.
Wow, suddenly I'm warming to Mugabe's Zimbabwe. It's not all bad, if they're doing things like that.
Everytime I was in St Leonard's Street at the Old Hoose, or The Engine Rooms, or in the early days browsing books in Robbie The Picts shop, I thought about the slum clearances there. They were later than most due to slum landlords and there were one or two collapsing old buildings there. Can't remember if there were people in them at the time but they were soon demolished after that. They spoke of Rachman like landlords which made me figure out who he was.
Hoogstraten always made me think of all that when he was in the news a few years back.
Edinburgh has had its share of strange landlords and will do again if the evidence of some of the property portfolios in the North of the city are anything to go by.
Simon and I were discussing this in the pub, and we concluded that there were places that we would rather Nicky had been arrested, but they were North Korea and Mordor.

Edited at 2008-01-27 12:50 am (UTC)
That news had somehow escaped me until now, and has brightened my day immensely.

I wonder what has happened to his Spier-like mausoleum-house in England? Has it been turned into flats, I wonder...
Well, this article's interesting. It's from a few years ago, but building had stopped amid a financial dispute. Someone unnamed, involved in the building, is quoted as saying "Nick's not poor, he's certainly got a few million, but I don't think it's anywhere near as much as he tells everyone."

"He always talks about all this art and furniture he's collected, but no one's ever seen it. It's a bit like Robert Maxwell, he's created this myth around himself and over the years he's told his story so many times he believes it himself."

This one quotes the architect as saying "I resigned when I realised he'd killed another client of mine." A fine concern for professional ethics there.

There's a picture here - apparently "work stoped some years ago" (sic). Apparently there was an earlier mansion on the site, but it was destroyed in a mysterious fire around the time that Mr Hoogs had the idea of building this one.

The Torygraph has a revealing article from a couple of years back:

Work on the gold-domed building, set in 100 acres of parkland near Uckfield, East Sussex, came to a halt in 2001. Since then a building inspector from Wealden council has produced a damning report. His findings, which were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, point to damage caused by water leakage; damp seeping into the penthouse, making the walls look like "contour maps"; and vegetation flourishing on the unfinished roof. The report also says that there may be insufficient specialist craftsmen to complete the building, which includes a mausoleum for when Mr Hoogstraten dies.