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AFC Fylde accountant blew £240,000 on sex, drink and drugs

image copyrightLancashire Police
image captionAndrew Barnbrook splashed out on shopping trips to Harrods and Chanel handbags

A football club narrowly avoided going bust after an accountant stole thousands of pounds to spend on cocaine and a "live sex cam model".

Andrew Barnbrook, from Bispham, Lancashire took £240,000 from AFC Fylde to also fund online gambling, luxury gifts and a champagne lifestyle.

The National League club only survived by borrowing money to stay afloat, Preston Crown Court was told.

Barnbrook, 38, who admitted theft, was jailed for 32 months.

Judge Andrew Jeffries QC told him: "You stuck the money up your nose, drank in champagne bars, befriended a live sex cam model, bought lavish gifts for her and paid for her time."

The court was told that Barnbrook splashed out on shopping trips to Harrods and Chanel handbags for webcam model Victoria Sinclair.

But she insisted their relationship was purely business, after admitting Barnbrook had blown between £50,000 and £70,000 on luxury goods for her.

He also paid £8 a minute for her live webcam services, the court heard.

Financial flaws

Barnbrook was working as a finance director for semi-professional side AFC Fylde when he transferred £239, 900 to his personal bank account.

But his financial wrongdoings came to light on 5 January 2018 and he was suspended from the club.

In a victim impact statement, Stuart King, the chief operations officer for Tangerine Holdings, which owns the National League side, said the club was only able to survive because it was part of a larger group and could borrow money.

He said: "The future of those employed by the business would have no doubt been dramatically affected, with AFC Fylde potentially going into liquidation and all those employees would have been left without a job had they not been able to borrow the money."

AFC Fylde Chairman, David Haythornthwaite, said the case "exposed the flaws in our systems that allowed Mr Barnbrook to take so much money without being challenged".

"The sad thing is that the only person who benefited from all of this is a call girl in Manchester and someone we have absolutely no legal right to recover the money."

A Proceeds of Crime Hearing is expected to take place in due course.

Related Topics

  • Bispham