Wizard Man of Sutton: Conjuring up Controversy

First published in Young Reporter

Also known as ‘The Wizard Man of Sutton’, Conrad Pugsley is a man of great acclaim within the area- a man often spotted wandering the streets of Sutton adorned in flowing robes, ornate jewellery and formerly with his cat Zagan perched upon his shoulder; a man who fearlessly ‘guarded’ Sutton highstreet from rioters; a man who even purports to have raised the dead.

Upon further research of the wizard, the sheer extent of fondness for him within the borough became very apparent, as did his lavish history. Aged five, Mr Pugsley was allegedly contacted by three “rogue beings of spiritual nature who taught [him] everything [he] needed to know about the craft, religion and life”. Since then, he has joined the Pagan faith, become a high priest and even learnt ‘the dragon craft’.

Within Sutton, the Pagan chief priest has experienced newfound acclaim. In June 2008, Mr Pugsley was arrested in Sutton high street on account of carrying a paper knife (to the wizard, an ‘athame’) as an offensive weapon, only for him to later emerge triumphant from court after appealing that it was simply part of his “religious regalia”. Later that year, following a successful Facebook campaign which gathered almost 3000 members, the colourful dragon master was invited to switch on the town’s Christmas lights. However, as a result of considerable threat from animal rights protesters, a costumed imposter later stole the limelight as Mr Pugsley was turned away in the interests of his own safety. Facebook campaigning now resumes, this time for the wizard man to be an Olympic torch holder- a campaign with nearly 6000 ‘likes’.

In spite of the amassing popularity in favour of Conrad Pugsley, the question must be raised as to whether he would be the most apt contender for the role. Given the controversy surrounding him, mostly with regard to the treatment of his many pets, it would perhaps be fair to say that there are more suitable and deserving candidates within Sutton, who have contributed to the community to a far greater extent. Nevertheless, the self-appointed wizard has undoubtedly become a most colourful and entertaining presence within the Sutton community, and hopefully shall continue to be so.

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