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April 18, 2024
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Real Estate

Accused Darwin crepe assailant’s real estate licence revoked

A woman accused of assaulting the former Northern Territory chief minister with a crepe has had her real estate licence revoked for harassing tenants.

Suzanne Lee Milgate, the sole owner of Milgate Real Estate in Darwin, was charged with assault in September after being filmed allegedly shoving a cream-covered crepe in then-chief minister Natasha Fyles’s face.

While Milgate fights the criminal charges, the NT Agents Licensing Board has revoked her licence.

Former tenants Tamara Rolph and Lucas Fiddaman accused Milgate of breaching their privacy, and not taking due care and diligence in her responsibilities.

Milgate accused Rolph and Fiddaman of lying when they reported two separate break-ins to the home they were renting through Milgate’s agency.

She called the tenants in an “extremely hostile and aggressive” manner, asked them to vacate the property, and accused them of breaching the lease agreement by having a dog and several other “breaches”.

“Milgate continued accusing Ms Rolph of lying about the break‐ins and claiming no one would have tried to break in,” the board said.

After the conversation ended unproductively, Milgate emailed the tenants accusing them of bullying her.

“We will be seeking legal advice from our lawyer regarding all your bullying, harassment and defamation allegations,” she wrote.

In the next few days, Milgate used information given on the tenants’ application documents to contact their employers.

“Milgate informed the employer that she was having ‘concerning issues’ and ‘great problems’ with Ms Rolph and inquiring if the employer had the same issues,” the board said.

The employer disagreed and Milgate threatened to go “higher up” the chain.

The employer reported the incident to NT Police and offered support to Rolph.

Milgate also contacted Fiddaman’s employer, asking what level of government he worked in and then abruptly hanging up.

Milgate once again used the application details to call the tenant’s former property manager, seeking a rental reference.

When the former manager gave a good reference Milgate seemed disappointed and said Fiddaman had “caused much trouble for her and the community and it would be better if he moved back to Gove”.

The former manager found this inappropriate and bordering on bullying.

Once the tenants engaged lawyers and began taking legal action, Milgate sent a short apology to the lawyers, conceding her actions were “not the right approach”.

During the hearing, Milgate accused the previous property managers and employers of lying due to being friends with the tenants.

“(Milgate) continued to ‘investigate’ after the landlord’s intervention and after the repairs had been made,” the board said.

“There is no obvious reason for doing this other than harassment of the applicants.”

In making his decision, NT Agents Licensing Board chair Robert Bradshaw said Milgate was unlikely to change her behaviour if he suspended her licence.

Milgate was found to have breached the Residential Tenancies Act and her licence is revoked from next Wednesday.

She was also hit with a AU$10,000 (NZ$10,770) fine.

“Her actions in respect of the applicants were inexcusable,” the board said.

In a separate case in 2023, an 18-year-old single mother complained about Milgate’s behaviour when she tried to kick her out of the property for having an account on adult-content site OnlyFans.

Milgate sent the tenant screenshots of herself, asking: “Is this you, from our owners’ property?”

When the woman replied that it was, Milgate called her a b**** and said she had reported it to police and “family services”.

She was fined AU$3000 (NZ$3230) for harassing and intimidating the tenant.

Milgate is set to return to court on February 5 to defend criminal charges.

Fyles was left with a slightly blackened eye after the crepe incident. Milgate was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and using a carriage service to harass.

She remains on bail.

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