Ely man, who became Cambridge University fellow after concealing criminal past, jailed for £238,000 lottery fraud

David Barrowclough at Toppings Book Shop in 2013.

David Barrowclough at Toppings Book Shop in 2013. - Credit: Archant

A prominent Ely figure - and Cambridge University fellow - has been jailed for six years after stealing £238,000 over seven years from the lottery.

It is not David Barrowclough’s first time behind bars - the 48-year-old archaeologist, who is also an author, was struck off as a solicitor in November 1997 and sentenced to four years in prison after admitting to 12 counts of theft.

While working at Collinson Barrowclough & Co, he drew money out of clients accounts, failed to pay funds into their accounts and produced misleading accounts. Money received from the Legal Aid board was spent on himself.

However, following his release, he was able to secure himself a position as a Wolfson College don by submitting a CV without a criminal history.

Barrowclough, of Broad Street, stole £238,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Using forged letters and false invoices, he secured funding for made up archaeological projects. The money was spent on his lavish lifestyle - including an Alfa Romeo.

He was charged with nine counts of fraud and one count of obtaining property by deception. He was found guilty on all but one count.

Three of the projects centred on Ely. Barrowclough creating a false email account for Ely Museum, where he became a board trustee in 2009.

Most Read

He was found out when staff at Ely Museum opened a letter detailing £18,500 to him for a project they were unaware existed. Barrowclough has so far repaid more than £70,000 to the HLF by request.

Two years ago, Barrowclough and Kate Morrison Ayres, former curator of Ely Museum, released a book about the history of Ely.

The book, entitled Ely: A Hidden History, traced the prehistoric origins of life in the city and its surrounding villages, as well as its medieval history - focusing on some of the area’s archaeological excavations.