Cambridge don jailed for six years for defrauding Heritage Lottery Fund

David Barrowclough of Ely in Cambridgeshire was found guilty of fraudulently claiming more than £200,000 over eight years for excavation projects that never happened

David Barrowclough
David Barrowclough

A Cambridge archaeology don has been jailed after defrauding the Heritage Lottery Fund out of hundreds of thousands of pounds for excavation projects that never existed.

David Barrowclough, of Ely in Cambridgeshire, was sentenced at Huntingdon Crown Court yesterday to six years in prison after fraudulently claiming more than £200,000 from the HLF over an eight-year period.

Barrowclough, a fellow and tutor at Wolfson College, Cambridge, falsely claimed a total of £238,000, according to the HLF, between 2005 and 2013.

The fraud was discovered when a letter to him was accidently sent to Ely Museum, where Barrowclough was a trustee, and opened by a curator.

The letter contained details of a payment of thousands of pounds for a project on the origins of Ely, which museum staff said they remembered Barrowclough suggesting once, but about which they had since heard nothing more.

An HLF spokesman said: "We have worked with Cambridgeshire Police throughout this investigation and will continue to seek reimbursement through legal means as appropriate.

"We take our role as custodians of National Lottery money very seriously and have a responsibility to National Lottery players to ensure that their money – for local heritage projects people care deeply about – is not misused. We will always pursue allegations of fraud."

Barrowclough had so far repaid £70,000 of the stolen money, the HLF said.

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