£176k theft used for gambling

A former Ely City football player stole £176,000 while working as an assistant bank manager to help fund a gambling addiction.

Joshua Bridgeman of Lee Close in Cottenham, was jailed for three years following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court earlier this month.

The court heard that the 28 year old, who denied theft, started taking the money in 2007 while working at the St Neots branch of Barclays by creating a huge amount of false documents to move cash between accounts.

Bridgeman, who worked his way up to assistant manager at the bank’s Ely branch, created a number of fictitious transfers to move money around the Barclays systems, before creaming off the surplus cash pocketing around £6,000 a month.

He plundered a total of £176,000 between 2007 and 2012 before he was caught through an internal investigation in March 2012.

Although Bridgeman claimed to not have taken a penny he did admit to falsifying documents but said he did so in an effort to get to the bottom of an error he had discovered.

Alan Alsop, manager at Ely City during Bridgeman’s spell at the Thurlow Nunn Premier League Club, was shocked to hear of the news concerning the ex-Robins midfielder.

“He is the last person that you would have expected to have done this,” said Alsop.

“I have known Josh since he was about 12 and I know that he does not come from a bad family. I am shocked as I didn’t think he was that kind of lad. His family will be devastated about it.”

A Barclays spokesman confirmed on Thursday that no customer accounts had been affected as a result of Bridgeman’s actions.

“Protecting our customers’ money is our top priority and we have a zero tolerance approach to fraud.

“This case was an internal matter and no customer has lost any money.”