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Former football coach jailed for a further four years for abusing boys

|News, Sexual offences

A former youth football coach who is already serving life for abusing young boys in his care has been jailed for a further four years.

Barry Bennell, aka Richard Jones, 66, pleaded guilty to nine sexual offences in relation to two further victims at Chester Crown Court on 31 July 2020.

The offences included one count of buggery and six counts of indecent assault in relation to one complainant and two counts of buggery in relation to the second complainant.

Both boys were aged between 11 and 14 when the offences took place between 1979 and 1988 and were being coached by Bennell.

At Chester Crown Court today (8 October 2020) Bennell, who appeared via video link from prison, was jailed for four years for the abuse which will run consecutively to the 30 years he is already serving.

So he must serve a total of 34 years in prison and a further two years on licence.

Victim Personal Statements were read to the court and both men spoke of the devastating impact that the abuse has had on their lives.

Both victims have given up football, despite showing great promise in their youth, because of the associations with the abuse. They spoke of sleepless nights, panic attacks, relationship problems and the abuse of alcohol and drugs to escape painful memories.

Barry Bennell was a successful youth football coach employed between the 1970s and 1990s by Manchester City, Crewe Alexandra and Stoke City football clubs. He was instrumental in forging the careers of several football internationals.

He was also responsible for the large-scale sexual abuse of the boys left in his charge.

He is currently serving a 30-year jail term following a lengthy trial in 2018 at Liverpool Crown Court for several offences relating to twelve victims.

In 1995 Bennell was arrested in the USA while on tour with youth players linked to Stoke City FC. He was convicted of sexual offences against a boy in his charge and sentenced to three years' imprisonment.

He was jailed for nine years in 1998 after pleading guilty to several sexual offences against boys in his care and two years' imprisonment in 2015 for indecently assaulting another young boy.

Damion Lloyd, District Crown Prosecutor with CPS Mersey Cheshire’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) unit, said: “Barry Bennell is a serial predatory paedophile who abused young boys on a regular and relentless basis, often when they were away from home and vulnerable.

“These boys had dreams of football stardom and lots of talent. Bennell played on those dreams and that talent to use them for his own twisted sexual gratification.

“These victims speak of fear, distress and confusion at what was happening to them. They were children, dragged into an adult world that they had no place in and didn’t understand.

“The Crown Prosecution Service has worked tirelessly with Cheshire Police to bring this serial abuser to justice on several occasions now and we hope this brings some solace to the people whose lives he ruined.

“We also want it to send out a clear message that abuse will still be prosecuted even when years have gone by since the incidents took place. For criminals, there really is no place to hide.”

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