Saturday, 24 February, 2018

Former football coach Bennell convicted of seven more sex offences

Manchester City said they had identified serious allegations of child sex abuse “in respect of two identifiable individuals” Manchester City said they had identified serious allegations of child sex abuse “in respect of two identifiable individuals”PA
Sandra Phillips | 15 February, 2018, 22:27

Before the trial, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault involving three boys, two of whom were part of the trial.

Bennell, who had part of his tongue removed due to cancer, appeared in court via videolink for health reasons and declined to give evidence in his own defense.

Manchester City said they are also continuing to "exhaustively examine" a number of reports of "historic anomalous behaviours".

In his closing speech, Nicholas Johnson QC, prosecuting, said: "We suggest Mr Bennell is a child molester on an industrial scale and that's why he went to these lengths to get so many lads round to his house".

"Barry Bennell is a predatory paedophile who groomed and abused young boys who dreamed of a career in professional football", Jackie Lamb, from the Crown Prosecution Service, England's state prosecutors, said after the trial concluded.

Victim, Micky Fallon, said Bennell had preyed on "little boys with a dream".

She said: "It's been a huge, huge decision for them and there are those as well that have waived anonymity and I have to say all credit to them because I think through that other people have felt empowered to come forward and report what happened".

Police are also now investigating further allegations after 86 more people came forward since Bennell's abuse came to light.

He was also said to have been treated like "God" at City's former Maine Road stadium and has already been jailed three times for previous sexual offences against other victims.

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

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"We stand together and together we have this message to all those who abuse children or turned a blind eye or cover up child sex abuse - your time is up".

"Today justice was done and you no longer have any power over us".

The young boys in question were abused at Bennell's home, which they were lured into staying at by Bennell's plethora of video games and exotic pets.

Manchester City offered "heartfelt sympathy to all victims for the unimaginably traumatic experiences they have endured".

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

The latest case against Bennell, a former coach at Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra among others, related to allegations from between 1979 and 1990. The second identified individual - John Broome - is deceased and is not believed to be linked to Bennell.

Bennell, who has now been convicted of 43 counts of child sex abuse against 11 victims, is to be sentenced next Monday.

"He is utterly indifferent to the suffering he has caused".

Nassar faces a lifetime behind bars after being accused by some 265 women - including Olympians and collegiate athletes - of sexually abusing them over more than two decades.

Gary Speed, whose 2011 death sent shockwaves across Britain's sports world, was described by Barry Bennell as a "special" child, a euphemism the now 64-year-old used for the boys he groomed, victims have said.

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