Barry Bennell case: Scores more say former coach abused them

Barry Bennell case: Scores more say former coach abused them
From ESPN - February 15, 2018

Paedophile football coach Barry Bennell may have assaulted more than 100 boys, Press Association Sport reported after his latest trial came to an end.

Bennell, 64, will be sentenced on Monday for abusing 12 boys.

The sentencing follows his latest convictions at Liverpool Crown Court for offences against youth footballers between 1979 and 1991.

Bennell, a former Crewe Alexandra coach and Manchester City scout who has already served three jail terms for similar offences involving 16 other victims, could face further prosecution after an additional 86 complainants came forward to say they too had been abused by him.

Bennell has been convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of a total of 43 counts of child sex abuse against 11 victims.

Before the trial started last month, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault, including offences involving a 12th boy.

The jury found him guilty of the final three counts of indecent assault on Thursday after deliberating for 21 hours and seven minutes.

A cheer came from the public gallery, where six victims sat with family members, as the final verdicts were read out.

Victims had described in court the abuse they had suffered and then lived with so long. For some, the emotion was overwhelming and tears began to flow as the trial finally came to an end.

Bennell, who appeared via videolink from prison, could be seen shaking his head and muttering when the guilty verdicts were returned.

Outside court, Andy Woodward, who decision to speak out about Bennell's abuse led to the trial, said he was proud to have helped other victims get the justice they deserved.

He also demanded an apology from Crewe Alexandra.

Another victim, Micky Fallon, said Bennell had preyed on "little boys with a dream." He thanked the jurors, adding: "Because of you, the stolen voices of a generation have been heard."

Fellow victim Steve Walters, his voice breaking, called Bennell a "disgusting predator" and criticised a "culture of complacency" in football over child protection.


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