Ex-football coach Barry Bennell guilty of further sex abuse

Former football coach Barry Bennell has been found guilty of seven further sex offences, bringing the total number he has been convicted of to 43.

Bennell, who worked with Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra’s youth teams, has been convicted of abusing 11 boys aged eight to 15 between 1979 and 1990.

Liverpool Crown Court heard boys were abused on an “industrial scale”.

An additional 86 people are understood to have come forward to say they have been abused in the past by Bennell, 64.

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

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. On Tuesday he had been convicted of 36 charges.

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

It was the fourth time he had been found guilty of abusing boys.

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

‘Power hold’

The latest police investigation began in November 2016 when one of Bennell’s past victims, ex-player Andy Woodward spoke out about the abuse.

Speaking outside court after the verdict, Mr Woodward said: “Justice has been served today and people will be able to move on with their lives including myself.”

Prosecutors told the trial Bennell had a “power hold” over the players.

They said boys were abused between 1979 and 1990 at his home – where he had arcade games and exotic pets including a puma and a monkey – on trips away, and in his car on the way to and from training.

In a statement, Crewe Alexandra expressed its “deepest sympathies” to Bennell’s victims and said it worked closely with the police investigation.

It added it was was not aware of any sexual abuse by Bennell or received any complaint about sexual abuse by him before or during his employment with the club.

Manchester City said it was offering “heartfelt sympathy to all victims for the unimaginably traumatic experiences they have endured”.

The club said it was keen to speak to any survivor or witness to sexual abuse which might in any way be connected to Manchester City or which could support a review it launched after the latest Bennell allegations were raised.

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