Britain’s Got Talent vocalist stole £20,000 from a theater

Britain’s Got Talent vocalist stole £20,000 from a theater

A former Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist, whose performance brought Amanda Holden to tears, stole over £20,000 to benefit his gay rights foundation.

James Edgington, 39, who starred in the 2010 series of the ITV talent show alongside his father Graham, illegally stole 'in excess' of £19,000 to help fund his organisation the Bolton Pride Charity. Here he is pictured outside Bolton Crown Court

James Edgington, 39, who appeared alongside his father Graham in the 2010 season of the ITV talent show, fraudulently sold complimentary tickets for a one-man show by Lord of the Rings actor Sir Ian McKellen and diverted revenues from other productions to his own account.

One of his colleagues at the Albert Halls in Bolton, Greater Manchester, discovered that £737 was gone from the venue’s float.

Later, it was discovered that the singer and actor had broken into the safe seven times to steal float money and forged invoices for £16,539 to the producers.

Edgington and his father shot to fame when they brought Amanda Holden to tears by singing their version of This is the Moment from the musical Jekyll and Hyde in the 2010 series of the ITV talent show, Britain's Got Talent

James Edgington, 39, who appeared alongside his father Graham in the 2010 season of the ITV talent competition, stole “in excess of” £19,000 to fund his organization, the Bolton Pride Charity. He is photographed here in front of the Bolton Crown Court

Edgington and his father rose to stardom after their rendition of This is the Moment from the show Jekyll and Hyde moved Ms. Holden to tears.

The court heard that some of the stolen funds were used to purchase tickets.

Inquiries found that Edgington obtained an additional £2,485 by illegally selling on the black market 71 complimentary tickets to Sir McKellen’s performance.

Edgington pictured with Sir Ian McKellen at the launch of his LGBTQ rights charity, Bolton Pride, in 2015. He also stole £2,485 by illegally selling 71 tickets to Sir McKellen’s solo show on the black market

The actor’s 80th birthday was celebrated in the concert venue in 2019 with a solo performance. Each unlawfully sold ticket cost £35 although they should have been reserved for VIP visitors at no cost.

Edgington insisted that the amount he stole was “in excess of” £19,000, despite the fact that council officials eventually reported a total of £20,187 was missing following an audit.

Edgington and his father rose to prominence after bringing Amanda Holden to tears with their rendition of This is the Moment from the musical Jekyll & Hyde on the 2010 season of Britain’s Got Talent on ITV.

Edgington, who resides in Tonge Moor, Bolton, used the funds to get financing for his 2015-founded Bolton Pride Charity, which is supported by Sir Ian McKellen and Coronation Street star Antony Cotton.

Bolton Crown Court suspended the singer’s sentence of 10 months imprisonment for a period of 12 months.

After pleading guilty to fraud, attempted fraud, and theft, he will be required to pay Bolton council £16,539 in restitution and complete 200 hours of unpaid labour.

The father and son duo got through to the semi-finals of the talent competition. Edgington was avoided jail after he was handed a 10 month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months

Edgington, who has also acted on the popular ITV series Downton Abbey, is currently the head of programming at the Cumbrian theater The Coro, earning £2,000 per month.

The prosecutor, Duncan Wilcock, stated that the fraud occurred between February 2019 and April 2021 while Edgington was employed as Theatre and Events Programmes Coordinator at the Victorian concert hall with 670 seats, which presents comedy, dance, music, and pantomime performances.The singer's father, Graham Edgington, pictured in attendance

2015 photograph of Edgington and Sir Ian McKellen at the inauguration of his LGBTQ rights organisation, Bolton Pride. In addition, he took £2,485 by fraudulently reselling 71 tickets to Sir McKellen’s solo concert.

As part of his responsibilities, he was responsible for coordinating with producers and pursuing external invoices, but his downfall began in March 2021, when fellow Albert Hall employee Elaine Gattrick conducted the end-of-year register check and discovered £737 was missing from three bags containing the venue’s floats.Edgington will have to repay £16,539 as compensation to Bolton council and was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work after he pleaded guilty to fraud, attempted fraud and theft

The venue subsequently initiated an official inquiry into the incident, focusing on employees who had entered the safe and discovering that Edgington had opened it seven times without authorization.

After being approached, the actor admitted to the theft and was subsequently suspended after disciplinary action was initiated.

The father and son team advanced to the semifinals of the talent contest. Edgington was spared jail time after receiving a 10-month prison sentence with a 12-month suspension.

As part of the investigation, the council requested access to Edgington’s work emails, and it was discovered that he had credited the outstanding bills from external event producers to his own bank account, rather than the council-run venue; he had even used the concert hall’s letterhead to forge signatures.

In August of last year, Edgington resigned from his position and volunteered for an interview with the police, during which he asserted, “I can pay it back tomorrow.”

In mitigation, defence attorney Nick Ross stated that the theft of the float money was solely for personal gain, and that the defendant has since repaid £600 of the £737 total. However, he added: ‘He was under enormous financial pressure and at the time he needed to fund the Pride charity he was running because a major sponsor had pulled out, leaving the charity $15,000 in the red.

Graham Edgington, the father of the singer, was photographed outside Bolton Crown Court prior to his son’s sentencing.

He took out a personal loan to finance Pride, but then used the stolen monies to bridge in financial shortfalls at the time.

Mr. Ross stated that Edgington’s grandmother had also become unwell and added, ‘He experienced a slip of judgment and, in his own words, “lost focus.”

His behavior can be explained by the fact that he attempts to do everything on his own.

There was no intelligence or sophistication involved. He acted in an extremely dumb and naive manner. His character has been immaculate thus far.

It was his pride that prevented him from seeking assistance. Is it not a cliche that pride precedes a fall? Well, this was his pride, and this is his fall.

The court heard that Edgington was depressed and on medication for anxiety. According to his testimonials, he “supported diversity and inclusion in the Bolton region,” and his family and friends said he “would do anything for anyone.”

After pleading guilty to fraud, attempted fraud, and theft, Edgington must pay Bolton council £16,539 in compensation and complete 200 hours of unpaid labour.

Mr. Recorder Nicholas Williams, in delivering the judge’s sentence, stated to Edgington, “These actions were not only wrong, but completely dishonest, and you misused your position of power and trust.”

This was not an isolated incident or a moment of craziness, but rather a pattern of behavior over time.

Edgington, who has always been interested in the performing arts, earned a bachelor’s degree in theater from Manchester Metropolitan University.

He has already raised over £100,000 for charitable causes and started a charity named Jen, after his late mother Jennifer, that assists widower fathers in coping with loss. When Edgington was four years old, Jennifer was killed in a car accident while he was in the vehicle.

Edgington was raised by his single father, Graham, who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent with him in 2010.

After the case, a Bolton Council spokesperson stated, “The council has a zero-tolerance policy towards fraud or any conduct that diverts local taxpayers’ valued resources.”

As soon as the council became aware of this problem, appropriate action was taken. We would like to thank Greater Manchester Police for their work on this inquiry, for which they received our full support.

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