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Former football youth coach Barry Bennell convicted of child abuse

15 February 2018

They have been told to return on Wednesday with verdicts on seven other counts on which they have not yet agreed.

The jury heard he had used his position in the sport to disguise the fact that he was a "child molester on an industrial scale".

Bennell previously served three prison sentences in England and the U.S. and had been described by the prosecution as having "pretty much unfettered access to large numbers of young lads who dreamt of a life in professional football", in his role as a youth coach in Cheshire, Manchester and Derbyshire from the late 1970s to the early 1990s.

The 64-year-old, who has previously received three jail sentences for similar offences, was found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court of sex offences against more victims.

He was cleared of three counts - as directed by the judge.

The former Crewe coach was convicted of a total 27 counts of indecent assault, seven counts of buggery and two counts of attempted buggery, involving 10 child victims between 1979 and 1990.

Bennell worked as a youth football coach in Cheshire, Derbyshire and Manchester in the 1970s and 80s.

He abused the boys at his homes, where he had arcade games and exotic pets including a puma and a monkey, but also on trips away and in his vehicle while on the way to and from training.

In transcripts of police interviews which were read in court, Bennell, who has changed his name to Richard Jones, told the police about his grooming process and abuse of boys, but claimed the complainants in the case were "jumping on the bandwagon" following publicity.

During closing speeches the prosecution stated that Bennell had also groomed the parents of complainants so that he could carry on the abuse and even went on to marry this sister of Andy Woodward, who he has admitted to abusing.

Prosecutors told the court he was a "predatory and determined paedophile" who molested young boys on an "industrial scale".

He chose not to appear in the witness box and no evidence was called by the defence.

The charges related to 10 boys.

Bennell was also found guilty of four counts of indecent assault against a third complainant.

Former football youth coach Barry Bennell convicted of child abuse