Former football coach and serial paedophile Barry Bennell has been sentenced to four more years for abusing two young boys 30 years ago. This is his fifth conviction for sexual offences against children aged between 11 and 14.
The ex-Crewe Alexandra coach and Manchester City scout pleaded guilty to three counts of buggery and six counts of indecent assault against two boys. He is currently serving a 30-year sentence after being convicted of 52 child sexual offences against 12 boys in 2018. The additional four years will be served consecutively to his current prison term, with an additional two years on licence.
Addressing Bennell, Judge Patrick Thompson said,
“You had a respected position as a football coach for professional football clubs including Crewe Alexandra, Manchester City, and Stoke City. It was a position you grossly abused in order to use those boys as your sexual playthings (…)These were children whose parents trusted and respected you, when you were in fact a parent’s worst nightmare. That, I’m afraid, is your legacy…”.
The court heard Bennell abused his victims while they were staying at his homes in Crewe and Furness Vale, Derbyshire, as well as at children’s home Taxal Edge.
In a victim personal statement, one of the victims said he had given up football after suffering a panic attack while playing for his national team. He said: “Bennell ruined my boyhood dreams and took that away from me.”
Owen Edwards, prosecuting, said Bennell was instrumental in forging the careers of several international footballers but was also responsible for “industrial sexual abuse of boys”. He said: “This case represents the final prosecution in a series of cases he has faced.”
It is believed Bennell may have more than 100 victims, as 86 complainants came forward to say they were abused by him following his last trial.
Bennell was first jailed in Florida in 1994 for raping a British boy on a football tour in America, before going on to face prison sentences in Britain in 1998, 2015 and in 2018.
Four of his victims were in court for the sentencing.
Our specialist abuse team here at Farleys Solicitors have been instructed by and continue to act for many victims who have been abused by Barry Bennell and other football coaches. If you have suffered abuse recently or historically and would like to talk to specialist in abuse claims in the strictest confidence, please call 0330 134 6430 or email us.