PHOTO: Bill Gertos

A Sydney property developer who successfully claimed squatter’s rights on a $1.7 million home has slammed the family of the deceased owner and poured coffee on the head of a TV reporter.

Bill Gertos made headlines late last year after the NSW Supreme Court granted him ownership of the house on Malleny Street in Ashbury, rejecting a bid to block the claim by the surviving relatives of the former owner.

The court found Mr Gertos met the legal requirements to claim “adverse possession”, having simply moved in after the death of elderly tenant Phyllis Grimes in 1998.

The house was last purchased in 1927 by Henry Thompson Downie, who died in 1947 without leaving a will. Ms Grimes remained a “protected tenant” ever since that time, paying a small amount of rent to an estate agent.