Dec 30, 2013, 7:38 pm
Includes video report
When lottery winner Gillian Bayford decided to spend some of her £148 million (US$204.3 million) windfall on a fleet of luxury Audis, she wound up taking more than the high-end cars away from the dealership.
For the mother of two has split from her husband and started a new relationship with the man who sold her the vehicles.
Alan Warnock has quit his job with the dealership and set up home with the multi-millionairess, telling friends he is 'very happy' with his new circumstances.
Last month, Mrs Bayford, 41, announced her separation from husband Adrian — who actually bought the winning EuroMillions ticket last summer — with the couple blaming the stresses that their massive jackpot brought for the collapse of their nine-year marriage.
(See UK couple wins massive EuroMillions lottery jackpot, Lottery Post, Aug. 20, 2012.)
At the time, there was speculation about a relationship between Mrs Bayford and married gardener Chris Tovey, 40, who worked on the 200-acre East Anglia estate the couple bought with their winnings — although she strenuously denied rumors of an affair.
In a further twist, Mr Tovey claims that Mr Bayford injured him in a golf buggy collision, and is suing the couple.
After announcing their split, Mrs Bayford, who was a healthcare worker at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, left their £6 million Georgian mansion and has now bought a new house in an exclusive estate on the outskirts of her original home town of Dundee.
Mr Warnock is helping Mrs Bayford settle in. The pair were spotted Christmas shopping together and he has been seen helping with her eight-year-old daughter and six-year-old son.
Mr Bayford is aware of his estranged wife's new relationship and it is understood they have reached an agreement to split the lottery fortune, one of the biggest ever won in Britain.
When they went public with their win, they insisted they would not let their fortune change them. But last month Mr Bayford, 43, confirmed: 'Gillian and I have split. When you win the lottery it's so stressful.'
At the time he insisted there was no one else involved, saying: 'There's never been anything like that at all.'
Last night a friend of Mr Warnock said: 'Alan and Gillian are an item and are serious about each other. He sold her the cars she wanted after the big win and romance has blossomed since then.'
The couple met in October last year, soon after the £148 million win, when the Bayfords visited Gillian's parents in Scotland.
They went to the John Clark Audi dealership in Dundee, where Mr Warnock was sales manager, and ordered five luxury cars.
Mr Bayford does not drive and the vehicles — three Q7 SUVs worth about £60,000 each and two Q5s worth around £40,000 each — were bought for Gillian, her parents, her brother and his girlfriend.
At the time Mr Warnock was quoted as saying: 'They're a very down-to-earth couple – they're very grounded and easy to deal with.
'It was good fun to do business with them and the buzz around the place was fantastic.'
Speaking outside her new house with Mr Warnock by her side, Mrs Bayford told The Mail on Sunday she had 'moved home'.
She did not deny she was in a relationship with Mr Warnock but declined to comment on the matter. Her spokesman Simon Garrett said: 'She will not be discussing her private life now or in the future.'
Mr Bayford's best friend Richard Hudspith, 40, confirmed that Adrian was aware that his estranged wife was in a relationship with Mr Warnock and had a new home in Scotland.
He added: 'Adrian is not going to comment about that. He is away at the moment anyway.'
Mr Bayford and Mr Hudspith used to run a shop together in Haverhill, Suffolk, selling musical instruments and second-hand CDs and DVDs, but they closed the business soon after the Bayfords' win After their marriage fell apart, Mr Bayford moved out of the £6 million family mansion and into a more modest £500,000, four-bedroom house back in Haverhill, ten minutes away.
The Bayfords are not the only EuroMillions winners to suffer marriage difficulties in recent weeks. Days after the couple made their announcement, Dave Dawes, 49, and wife Angela, 46, revealed their split two years after bagging £101 million.
Earlier this month it was revealed that Les Scadding, 63, and wife Samantha, 42, who won £45.5 million in 2009, have divorced.
VIDEO: Watch the winners in happier times
Your last visit: Tue, Aug 9, 2022, 7:12 pm