Ex-football coach guilty of sex abuse

Barry Bennell in 1991

Ex-football coach Barry Bennell has been found guilty of multiple sex offences against boys in the 1980s.

Bennell, 64, was convicted of 36 charges including indecent assault and serious sexual assaults against boys aged eight to 15.

The Liverpool Crown Court jury of five men and six women was unable to reach verdicts on seven counts after four days of deliberation.

The judge had directed jurors to find him not guilty on three counts.

During the trial prosecutors said Bennell was a “predatory and determined paedophile” who molested young boys on an “industrial scale”.

They compared him to the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang while his victims described Bennell’s home as a “paradise” for young boys, where they would play games and be given takeaway food.

Three jail terms

Bennell, who is now known as Richard Jones, appeared in court via videolink due to illness.

The youth scout and junior football coach was associated with a number of clubs including Stoke City, Manchester City and, most notably, Crewe Alexandra.

Image copyright Julia Qunezler
Image caption Bennell did not give evidence in his defence

Bennell has previously received three jail sentences in the UK and in the US after being convicted of similar offences.

He chose not to offer any evidence or witnesses in his defence and had told police he was suffering from cancer, which in turn had caused memory problems.

His barrister accused the complainants of inventing stories about him and “jumping on the bandwagon”.

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