Soldier On Property Training Course Committed Suicide

Soldier On Property Training Course Committed Suicide

15:03 PM, 19th January 2020, About 4 years ago 30

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You may well have seen this story on the BBC website and also in The Telegraph. There have also been several links to them on Facebook and other Social Media over the last few days. The story has certainly prompted a lot of discussion.

Some of what I am about to say here is extremely controversial, so I must point out that my views are entirely that, i.e. personal to me.

As background, I will post links below to the articles mentioned above and also to a video response published on You Tube by the owner of the property training company, Samuel Leeds Limited. I must also point out that in my 31 years in business as a landlord I have never run a training company, nor have ever I paid for property based training. I didn’t go to University either and the only debt I have is secured against my own property in the form of mortgages. Furthermore, to my knowledge, I have never met Samuel Leeds, nor have I been incentivised in any way to write this article.

So, what do I have to say that’s so controversial?

OK, here goes:-

Every year, hundreds of thousands of British Students take on debt to fund themselves through University, in the belief that an education will help them later in life.

Sadly, some of those students commit suicide too. I suspect the cause of some of those tragedies might also be related to debt.

Does The Telegraph and the BBC report those Students who take their own lives in the same way, or is the linking of their stories to Samuel Leeds just another attack which stems from Media jealousy for those who make it in the property sector?

Does every student who studies astrophysics end up working as a rocket-scientist at NASA or for an F1 racing team? Of course they don’t, and I suspect that many of them will work in very normal 9 to 5 jobs and some don’t work at all. Does this mean they were mis-sold? Do they get a refund for their University tuition fees if they don’t get their dream job? Of course not!

I have no idea whether Samuel Leeds really is a successful property investor or whether he employs high pressure sales tactics. Likewise, I have no idea whether his training courses add any value to people who attend the free ones or the premium versions. Either way; is it right that he should receive death threats and accusations that his business was the cause of Danny Butcher’s death?

If you have actually been to one of Samuel Leeds free training events I would love to hear from you in the comments below? Was it a high pressure sales pitch? Did you buy? Did you enjoy it? Did you get value from it? If you neither enjoyed it nor got value from it, did you feel suicidal as a result of it?

Research articles below:

In 2018, it is reported that 71 British military personnel and veterans took their own lives – source ITV website

One UK student dies by suicide every four days – source

Please note that I have read both of the articles below and watched both of the video’s I’ve linked to below in full.

LINK TO BBC article – “Doncaster property training debt soldier killed himself”

LINK TO article in The Telegraph –  “Exclusive investigation: The property ‘guru’ leading people into debt in pursuit of ‘financial freedom'”

LINK TO Samuel Leeds Video Response – “Response to my critics”

LINK TO Mike Winnett Video – “Is Samuel Leeds a Scam?”

Article image credited to BBC.

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john lown

11:38 AM, 20th January 2020, About 4 years ago

Very sad news.
All regiments have a careers officer to whom a leaving military person should ensure thay have an interview to help with their resettlement. Careers officers will be able to steer applicants towards reliable and affordable training schemes.
Organisations such as XForces do this well.
Transitioning service personnel should take advise and recommendations from trusted organisations such as XForces who will advise a reliable and sound advice for their future.
Do not part with money until you have taken advice. The good schemes give good results .
Lord John Lown


14:59 PM, 20th January 2020, About 4 years ago

There's a crucial difference between the two - you can't call yourself a university, charge £9k and then hand out whatever certificate you want at the end whereas with property training (or other wealth training) you can do pretty much whatever you want.
As landlords, we're coming under increasing pressure and scrutiny due to the problem landlords, yet they continue to ignore the rules and generally get away with it. I hope they do a better job regulating training, as it's now hard to tell the difference between the good trainers and the con merchants, apart from the good trainers probably promise less, charge more (or at least declare it's more at the start) and end up with few students. Having been to a free event and putting up with the very hard sell on the 2nd day, I doubt I'll ever pay for any training now, which limits me and doesn't help the professional trainers.

Luke P

15:15 PM, 20th January 2020, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Dino at 20/01/2020 - 14:59
You can also, at very least, call yourself a University graduate upon successful completion, which holds a little more water than a successful Samuel Leeds seminar/course attendee.

James Barnes

15:39 PM, 20th January 2020, About 4 years ago

I think another important point here is that student loan debt is not the same as credit card, loan, or mortgage debt. Graduate's only make loan repayments once they earn beyond a certain threshold. In that sense student loan debt doesn't have the same burden or urgency of more "traditional" types of debt.
In this instance the poor man has parted with a significant sum of money, his pension lump sum no less which we could not get back. That could happen to anyone given the hard sell or vulnerable enough.
What I'm getting at is that handing over large sums of money for mickey mouse property training courses is not comparable to taking on a student loan for an accredited degree.


9:26 AM, 21st January 2020, About 4 years ago

I think you've missed a key point with this.
When people pay for a university course, the university delivers the education that was promised. There are also no guarantees of a job at the end of it and people accept it.
With the Samuel Leeds course, one of the key complaints is that the actual training isn't delivered. This why, according to the documentary, 70 people are seeking refunds totalling £200,000.
If you take a look at the facebook group "The truth about Samuel Leeds" you'll see some examples of how people paid £12k but didn't get what was promised with the actual training.
If I'm promised monthly one-to one mentoring phone calls and then only get a single phone call over 12 months, then yes, that would be mis-selling, which is what many people are claiming.
The reason the BBC didn't go after universities was most likely because universities actually deliver the education that they promise.

Monty Bodkin

15:29 PM, 21st January 2020, About 4 years ago

Not so much controversial, as more a bizarre comparison to make.
I doubt many would agree with your view.

Luke P

17:02 PM, 21st January 2020, About 4 years ago

Mark, there’s a Facebook group ‘The Truth About Samuel Leeds’ and is clear it is definitely high-pressure sales. He admits he makes more from his course-selling than property. We’re all experienced enough to know there’s no get-rich-quick tricks out there.

17:24 PM, 21st January 2020, About 4 years ago

As several have noted, this comparison is bizarre and heartless. Universities don't promise untold wealth - they promise a university education, the value of which people accept is variable, with no guarantee of a job at the end of it, but at the very least you get the education you paid for.
With this scam the guy didn't deliver the education he promised. He claimed he would provide bespoke one to one sessions, but instead he hung up on people, and blocked them when they asked what was going on.

Really beneath you to defend this reprehensible person.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

19:36 PM, 21st January 2020, About 4 years ago

Just to be perfectly clear, I am NOT trying to defend Samuel Leeds here, nor am I looking to devalue University Education.

The question I was raising is this; Is it right that the media are using the excuse of a Soldier's suicide to further tarnish the Private Rented Sector?

Most people (me included) have the utmost respect for our Armed Forces.

And just to reiterate; Samuel Leeds only recently appeared on my radar. I know nothing about him or his business other than what I have seen on You Tube and in both mainstream and Social Media.

I would like to hear from anybody who has met him in person and completed his courses though.

Monty Bodkin

20:20 PM, 21st January 2020, About 4 years ago

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