Monday, 16 July, 2018

Trial: Ex-soccer coach accused of abuse when Man City scout

Chris Unsworth 45 says Bennell 64 preyed on him after he was scouted for Manchester City as a junior and the abuse began'straight away Chris Unsworth 45 says Bennell 64 preyed on him after he was scouted for Manchester City as a junior and the abuse began'straight away
Lora Ball | 13 January, 2018, 09:00

Chris Unsworth, 45, accused the 64-year-old of preying on him after he was scouted for Manchester City as a junior. The alleged abuse included around half a dozen occasions when he was raped.

Mr Johnson said: "In those circumstances we will suggest in due course that it is no surprise either that the extent of his offending has taken so long to emerge or that there is repetition in the way, we allege, he committed his offences".

The man said he was scouted for City's junior team and would travel to matches and training with Bennell, who allegedly abused him on the way.

The man said he did not tell anyone about the abuse until November 2016, when he saw other alleged victims on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme.

"He would move his hands around your body on the outside of your clothes, tickle you, and you would have to do the same to him", Mr Unsworth said.

But, he said, the game would keep going until his hands were "inside your shirt or inside your underpants".

"I just thought it was normal, this is what you have to do", he added.

The witness also described being abused on a football tour at Butlins in Pwllheli, after he woke up to find Mr Bennell behind him.

"That game was pretty much ongoing until, basically, I walked away from football", he told the court.

He was also abused when he stayed overnight at Bennell's former home in the Peak District, he said.

Bennell who is appearing in court via video-link due to illness denies 48 counts of historical child sex abuse between 1979 and 1990
Bennell who is appearing in court via video-link due to illness denies 48 counts of historical child sex abuse between 1979 and 1990

The court was told young boys would be given free sports kit at Bennell's house and allowed to eat takeaway food.

"The first time, I'll never forget it", he said. 'I was just crying, the pain. It felt like it was hours but it was probably two or three minutes.

The court heard how none of the boys who have alleged they were abused would speak to each other about their experience.

Cross-examined by Eleanor Laws QC, defending, Mr Unsworth denied discussing possible financial compensation with a solicitor or other alleged victims.

He said: 'This is not about compensation, this is about justice'.

"You would always do what he said. Do you agree or disagree?"

The court was read a transcript of a police interview with Bennell conducted in February 2017.

Prosecutors said jurors would hear allegations made in the past against Bennell by footballers in England and Wales, and also in the United States.

Mr Bennell is on trial for 35 counts of indecent assault, 11 serious sexual assaults and two counts of attempted sexual assault, on boys aged between eight and 14.

These include assaults on two youth footballers in the changing rooms at Crewe Alexandra's ground, a jury at Liverpool Crown Court heard.

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