Ex-coach Bennell convicted of seven more offences as court told he abused boys 'on industrial scale'

Ex-coach Bennell convicted of seven more offences as court told he abused boys 'on industrial scale'
From BBC - February 15, 2018

Three of Barry Bennell's victims have told how he turned their dreams into a "horrendous nightmare" after the former youth football coach was convicted of 43 sex assaults on boys.

Bennell, who worked at Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra, was found guilty of abusing 11 boys aged eight to 15.

Speaking outside Liverpool Crown Court, another victim, Andy Woodward, said "justice has been served".

It is understood 86 others have come forward to say they were victims.

Before the case Bennell admitted seven charges of indecent assault on three boys, two of whom were also part of the allegations he was tried on.

He was found guilty of 36 charges on Tuesday, and a further seven counts on Thursday, related to offences committed between 1979 and 1990.

Bennell, who is now known as Richard Jones, appeared in court via videolink during the five-week trial due to illness.

He could be seen shaking his head and muttering when the final guilty verdicts were returned by a 10-1 majority.

He will be sentenced on Monday and will be produced from custody to attend the hearing.

It was the fourth time Bennell had been convicted of abusing boys.

The jury was told he had previously received jail sentences in the UK and in the US.

'Innocence shattered'

The latest police investigation began in November 2016 when Andy Woodward gave interviews about his experiences to the Guardian and BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme.

Speaking outside court after the verdict, the ex-Crewe defender said: "Justice has been served today and people will be able to move on with their lives including myself."

Mr Woodward said he believed "the football clubs that were accountable for this... could have stopped this for so many years... And I think now's the time that that comes sort of out.

"And I would personally like after 15 months, an apology from Crewe Alexandra for what happened to us boys."

Ex-Manchester City youth player Chris Unsworth, who was abused by Bennell when he was a scout at the club, read a statement outside the court alongside Micky Fallon and Steve Walters.

The three are supporters of the Offside Trust, which was set up by ex-professional players to support survivors.

Clubs launch inquiries


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