Millionaire ex-convict ashamed of 'incredibly selfish existence' sells his £1m house to raise cash for African orphans Last updated at 10:57 PM on 09th March 2010 With a criminal record, alcoholism and affairs with married women to his name, Jon Pedley makes for an unlikely Mother Teresa character. Yet the self-made telecommunications tycoon is selling his businesses, his £1million farmhouse and all his furniture - to move to a mud hut in Uganda and start a children's charity. The dramatic turn-round in the 41-year-old's life comes after a serious car crash in which he almost lost his life and which caused him, he says, to find God. Reformed: Jon Pedley, pictured in Uganda earlier this year, is selling his £1million farmhouse and using the proceeds to help African orphans He now hopes his charity, Uganda Vision, will help build the self-esteem of troubled British children by sending them to the East African country where they will support locals orphaned by Aids and poverty. 'I've lived an incredibly selfish existence,' said Mr Pedley, of Finchingfield, Essex. 'I've been convicted of crime, slept rough, been an alcoholic, had affairs, and damaged people's lives including my own. I've always put the pursuit of money in front of everything else.' His business success means he has 'the big house, big car, mortgage, business. But I'm leaving that behind to start a new life'. For sale: Mr Pedley's Essex property comes with a one-acre garden and a pond Mr Pedley grew up in Shrewsbury and earned a scholarship to the £14,310-a-year Wrekin College, Shropshire. But he became jealous of the wealthy pupils and began smoking and drinking, 'funded by theft from shops and my parents'. When he left school he 'craved money' but it led to a suspended jail sentence for fraud and theft after scams including selling the furniture at a rented flat. After going broke when a business venture went wrong, he slept rough before starting an affair with a married woman who lent him money. The pair later married and had two children. But while Mr Pedley rebuilt his businesses, he also drank heavily and cheated on, and later divorced, his wife. In 2002, the tycoon had been drinking when he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a van. He was in a coma for six weeks. After making a full recovery he attended a short course on religion, which transformed his outlook. 'I'm now teetotal and I try to live my life in a way that pleases God,' he said. Inspired by a friend's work in Uganda, he is selling his 16th century Essex farmhouse and businesses, Empowered Communications and Eme Tech, to fund his charity ambitions. 'I've never been more sure about anything in my life,' he said.