Cambridge academic jailed for stealing £238K

David Barrowclough tricked Heritage Lottery Fund by applying for money for fake projects

September 24, 2015
Wolfson College, Cambridge

A University of Cambridge academic has been sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of stealing £238,000 by applying for bogus archaeological projects.

Fraud by David Barrowclough, 48, was discovered only by chance after details of one of his fake projects were delivered to the wrong address.

Barrowclough, of Broad Street, Ely, used the money to pay for his mortgage, premium bonds and a new Alfa Romeo car, the Cambridge News reported.

The Wolfson College fellow and tutor was found guilty yesterday on all but one count after being charged with nine counts of fraud and one of obtaining property by deception.

His fraud came to light after staff at Ely Museum opened a letter outlining £18,500 in funding to Barrowclough for a project that they did not realise existed.

Barrowclough forged letters, issued fake invoices and deployed false names and addresses to trick the Heritage Lottery Fund from 2006 to 2013.

He was struck off as a solicitor in 1997 and sentenced to four years in jail for theft. But Wolfson College was not aware of his prior conviction because Barrowclough had applied by submitting a letter and a CV rather than a standard application, which requires details of previous convictions.

Barrowclough took an undergraduate degree in archaeology and anthropology at Wolfson as a mature student before progressing to a PhD in archaeology. He became a junior research fellow, and then a fellow and tutor at the college.

According to his profile page at Wolfson, his research interests “centre on the social construction of ‘island’ identities which may form in any culturally isolated place”. The site also lists a number of publications on prehistoric England.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Related universities

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Viewed

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham