play_arrow

keyboard_arrow_right

skip_previous play_arrow skip_next
00:00 00:00
chevron_left
volume_up
chevron_left
  • cover play_arrow

    Rother Radio (128k) Love Local, Love Music!

  • cover play_arrow

    Rother Radio (64K) Love Local, Love Music!

  • cover play_arrow

    Hit Music Radio (128K) More Music Variety!

  • cover play_arrow

    Hit Music Radio (64K) The Best Variety of Hits!

Local News

Dad’s double life saw him jailed with family clueless until he was gone

today11/06/2021

Background
share close

An accountant whose double life was exposed when his family discovered he had been jailed for stealing £50,000 from his employer, after amassing £500,000 in gambling debts, has launched a service with his son to prevent other addicts’ lives from being shattered.

Working with bookmakers, David Bradford, 64, and his son Adam 28, have spent two years developing the BetProtect app helping people to gamble sensibly – after vowing to try and protect the 430,000 people estimated by the Gambling Commission to be addicts, with a further two million felt to be “at risk.”

Single Adam, who splits his time between Sheffield and Dubai, working as a marketing consultant, said: “This is a new lease of life for Dad and a pathway to redemption.”

To get the latest email updates from Yorkshire Live, click here .

Adam added: “Even the last seven years since Dad came out of jail has been very difficult for our family, but the terrible impact on us has been the inspiration for our work with the industry to provide an extra layer of support for those at risk.

“Dad said ‘I really want to try and do something to prevent people’s descent into addiction’. This will be his lifelong job now – to make a difference and turning our negative experiences into something positive for others.

David Bradford with his wife Denise after his release from prison
David Bradford with his wife Denise after his release from prison
(Image: Collect/PA Real Life)

“The aim with the app is for lots of help to come up on gamblers’ screens to educate them early before they need treatment and run up huge debts or in some cases take their own lives.”

Adam continued: “They can hear counsellors’ advice anonymously and get lots of information without having to arrange to go to counselling sessions.

“Dad says if it had been around for him, it could well have saved him. He actually never thought he had a problem with his gambling and just thought he was a bit useless with money.

“He even had a bet the day of his court case! He only realised he had a problem when the judge told him.”

On April 11, 2014, his wife’s birthday, father-of-three David was jailed for fraud after hiding all his problems from his family – including the court case, which he pretended just to be a witness at, stealing from his employers, racking up loans, debts to banks and card companies and re-mortgaging his home.

It came as a horrifying shock when Adam, his retired mum, Denise, 69, and twin brothers trainee accountant Alex and Ryan, who is now Project Director on their new app, both 25, discovered he had been jailed at Mold Crown Court when a solicitor rang them to break the news.

David, who lost his £70,000-a-year job as a finance controller, went on to serve eight months before his release from HMP Altcourse in Liverpool in November.

Even while David, who lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, with the twins and his wife, was inside, Adam was already advocating gambling reforms to help prevent addiction.

On leaving jail, David joined him and together they set up the Safer Online Gambling Group.

Adam, pictured here with his mum and dad
Adam, pictured here with his mum and dad
(Image: PA Real Life)

Adam said: “When dad came out he joined me in this work and now my brother Ryan is also the app Project Director. It’s hard for gamblers to speak out because of the shame and stigma, so this is aimed as a way to reach them.”

The not-for-profit app has “take a break” information, giving out-of-control gamblers breathing space to pause for thought and get help and education.

When a gambler seems to be at risk, it offers them information, videos, podcasts, and digital tools like a diary, with advice from specialist therapists, counsellors, and others who have suffered as a result of gambling.

It also links to a helpline and clinics, although it does not block them betting, although site operators do have the power to do that separately.

A number of big gambling operators have already taken the app, while the Bradfords are in talks with many other companies in Britain and the US.

Adam said: “We ran it by focus groups of gamblers supervised by counsellors and the feedback was positive.”

Enter your postcode to see what’s happening where you live

While the work they are doing has been a positive force in reuniting the Bradford family, Adam is keen to stress how difficult it has been for them after the destruction his dad’s addiction wreaked.

He said: “When dad came out of jail he struggled to find work. At one point, he took on freelance delivery driving 100 hours a week to make ends meet, and he has tried to make amends with those he let down.

“While he was in prison, I had to unravel his debts and make a plan to keep the house which we are still paying off.

“Two days after he was jailed we got a quick 30 second phone call – all he was allowed – after he’d been on the front of the local paper. He was really apologetic, but a shadow of himself.”

Adam continued: “I will never forget my mum didn’t want to speak to him and handed the phone to me. All I said was, ‘What’s the password to your email?’ and ‘Where are all the bills kept and what happens next?’ because I had to sort out the huge mess he’d left us with.

“Mum would visit him in jail, but a lot of the time she was very angry with him. The future she thought she was going to have was suddenly destroyed.

“She felt betrayed, but we have learned it’s not betrayal – he just wanted to do what was best for his family, but when his debts mounted he tried to recover the money for us and lost more.”

Adam continued: “Now our mental health and struggles have been the collateral damage. And this is why we are all working so hard to build this safety net to catch and save others.”

Campaigning from the Bradfords and others helped lead to the Government decreasing the maximum stake for fixed odds betting terminals from £100 to £2 and increasing NHS provision for gambling addicts.

And now their new tool, which is powered by Gibraltar-based safer gambling consultancy Crucial Compliance, will enable gambling companies to keep tabs on common consumer issues and hot topics for support, and help tailor customer interventions.

Ryan said: “Each day after Dad was jailed was spent wondering how we would cover the mortgage and hold off debt collectors. Each day was spent worrying about living on the streets due to the threat of homelessness.

“Each day was a horrendous new experience that led to personal depression of my own, followed by countless sleepless nights, arguments and so much stress.

“Nonetheless, this drove us all to completely change this sense of being stranded that is set in motion when any gambler loses control by creating BetProtect.”

Meanwhile, David gives a poignant insight into the denial that accompanies gambling addiction.

He said: “As I never believed I had a gambling problem I never sought help in any form. On reflection, I needed intervention from a trusted source.

“BetProtect is available now to encourage a pause for thought.”

The app could not have come at a better time, according to the Gambling Commission, which has seen a surge in gambling since the first lockdown last year.

A spokesperson said: “According to YouGov research, 0.2% (one in 500) of all adults surveyed stated that they had started gambling for the first time.”

For more information and help and support, see www.betprotect.co.uk

Download the YorkshireLive app to customise the news that matters to you and get the latest updates first.

Written by: Rother Radio News


Previous post

UK News

Boy, 14, among four jailed for kicking father-of-two to death for his gold Rolex

Two men and two teenagers have been jailed for killing a father-of-two by kicking him to death for his £13,000 gold Rolex watch.Lewis Peake, 30, Michael Wilson, 20, and a 17-year-old and 14-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, have been sentenced to a combined total of 36 years for the manslaughter of Steven McMyler. Mr McMyler suffered fatal head injuries during a brutal attack in the gardens of […]

today11/06/2021