Former football coach Barry Bennell admits seven child abuse charges

Adjust Comment Print

Nicholas Johnson QC, prosecuting, said that the ex-Crewe Alexandra coach, who has since changed his name to Richard Jones, was a "predatory and determined paedophile" who targeted pre-pubescent boys.

"Although it seems that Mr Bennell was a relatively successful coach, he had a much darker side".

"We didn't want to spoil our chances: "I want to make it, I want to be a footballer, I want to play for City", he told the court.

Bennell is also alleged to have performed oral sex on another youth footballer in the changing rooms at Crewe.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how an alleged victim met the 64-year-old when he was a scout for Manchester City.


His home, where he would invite boys to stay over, was described by one complainant as a "paradise" for young boys with a pool table, fruit machine, big TVs and unusual pets, which the court heard included a wild cat and a monkey.

Mr Unsworth said the abuse started in the auto with a game devised by Bennell called Follow Me - which the defendant is said to have engineered with other complainants.

There they would be given lots of sport kit and allowed to eat takeaway food, he said.

The jury would have to decide, Mr Johnson added, whether they were listening to a group of men who, as Bennell alleges, had "jumped on the bandwagon" and maliciously made up stories.

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.


The court heard abuse would take place at Bennell's former home in the Peak District, which became known as the "haunted house".

Complainants also alleged being abused in his auto on the way to and from training and on football tours.

Benell has already admitted seven sexual abuse charges, but denies a further 48, relating to 11 complainants. He has already served prison sentences in England and the United States but says he is the victim of a malicious campaign motivated by attention-seeking and compensation claims.

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.

Unsworth said sexual contact with Bennell diminished as he hit puberty and ended when he quit football, because he had "had enough". It was Woodward's interview that encouraged the victim giving evidence to come forward to police, they were told. Bennell denies 48 child sex offenses against 11 complainants between 1979 and 1990. A jury is expected to be selected for his trial later on Monday.


Comments