Bennell convicted of three more child abuse charges, sentencing on Monday

17 February, 2018, 01:45 | Author: Kathy Ellis
  • Former football coach Barry Bennell

Bennell had run feeder clubs for Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra.

A cheer of "yes" came from the public gallery where six victims sat with family members as the final verdicts were read out.

However Bennell may have more than 100 victims in total as he could face further prosecution after an additional 86 complainants have come forward to say they too were abused by him.

Bennell, 64, was found guilty of indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery against 11 victims - all boys aged between eight and 15 - in a complex trial in Liverpool in northwest England.

Micky Fallon, one of the former players Bennell has been convicted of abusing, reveals the horrors he endured and asks how Crewe did not realise the coach was a risk when opponents called them "The paedophile lads'There is a scar on my cheek that will always be there to remind me about my childhood".

Former Manchester City youth coach Steve Fleet told The Guardian he spoke out to stop the club hiring Bennell for a full-time role after hearing rumours he was "dodgy".

Judge, Recorder of Liverpool Clement Goldstone QC adjourned sentencing until Monday so that cancer-sufferer Bennell - who appeared by videolink - can appear in person.

Victims who had been coached by Bennell as boys told how he had a "power hold" over them as they dreamed of becoming professional footballers.

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But he was also a "child molester on an industrial scale".

"We broke the silence and we took back our voice". He groomed not only the young players but their families, convincing parents that their boys were safe in his care.

"How can it be that no one realized something was wrong?"

"We suffered because of a disgusting predator but we also suffered sometimes because the sport we loved decided that the reputation of a coach, club or a sport was put above the protection of children".

He regularly drove some of his victims to the club's then Maine Road stadium and Platt Lane training ground - although there was no evidence that abuse took place at either location. Between 1985 and 1992, he was on the coaching staff at Crewe.

Former player Gary Cliffe, 47, who was abused by Bennell "hundreds" of times, said his "horrific" ordeal left him "hating" his childhood.

An emotional Woodward praised the courage of the men who had come forward and said football clubs and authorities needed to be accountable for allowing men like Bennell to operate within the game. The inquiry is due to report its findings in the coming months.

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