Football club accountant stole almost £250,000 to fund obsession with webcam glamour girl

‘What did you with the money? You stuck it up your nose with cocaine, you drank at champagne bars and befriended a live sex cam model,’ says judge

Chiara Giordano
Friday 10 May 2019 17:00 BST
Accountant Andrew Barnbrook, 28, has been jailed for 32 months after stealing £250,000 from AFC Fylde to fund his obsession with a webcam glamour girl.
Accountant Andrew Barnbrook, 28, has been jailed for 32 months after stealing £250,000 from AFC Fylde to fund his obsession with a webcam glamour girl.

An infatuated football club accountant who stole almost £250,000 to fund his obsession with a webcam glamour model has been jailed for 32 months.

Andrew Barnbrook, 38, secretly transferred the money from AFC Fylde to his personal bank account for up to two and a half years before he was finally caught and sacked.

Preston Crown Court heard the Lancashire club would have gone out of business if it had not been part of an umbrella company, Tangerine Holdings, which borrowed the cash to cover the shortfall.

Barnbrook became “infatuated” with Manchester webcam model Victoria Sinclair and spent between £50,000 and £70,000 on her including splashing out on a £7,000 Chanel handbag, a Rolex watch and Armani goods on trips to Harrods in London.

He also paid towards a new car for Ms Sinclair although their relationship was never physical, the court heard.

Fuelled by cocaine and alcohol, Barnbrook also enjoyed drinking in champagne bars and spent cash on other webcam models and lent money to one.

Rachael Woods, defending, said the accountant had been living a “pretty quiet and law abiding life” up until 2015.

She said: “He has committed an extremely foolish offence but a serious offence which will have long-term repercussions.

“He worked up to his position at the time in the accountancy profession and had been employed in that type of work since he was 17.

“Once he started using cocaine, a drug he could ill afford on his salary, he began to steal money from the company in dribs and drabs, and then took more and more in larger amounts.

“In the midst of drug and drink dependency he became a completely different person and was isolated from family and friends.

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“He became very lonely and formed a very ill-advised relationship with Ms Sinclair.

“In his eyes this was a relationship, in her eyes it was a business relationship.”

Ms Woods added that Barnbrook claims Ms Sinclair knew he was stealing from the company to fund the gifts, however the webcam model disputes this.

Barnbrook, of Red Bank Road, Bispham, Blackpool, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to fraud on dates between September 2015 and January 2018.

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Jefferies QC told him: “Anybody who has an interest in football knows that small football clubs struggle financially.

“Had they not been part of an umbrella business they would have gone under.

“What did you with the money? You stuck it up your nose with cocaine, you drank at champagne bars and befriended a live sex cam model.

“You were aware of the consequences and the level of criminality.

“At the age of 38 you have lost your good character and will never ever work again in your profession.”

On Saturday, AFC Fylde will take on Salford City at Wembley Stadium in a play-off to reach League Two.

Press Association contributed to this report.

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