Barry Bennell convicted of further indecent assault offences

Family of Gary Speed plea for “end to unwarranted speculation” surrounding the Barry Bennell case

Barry Bennell convicted of further indecent assault offences

Former football coach Barry Bennell was found guilty of seven further sexual offences against young players on Thursday, bringing to 43 the total number he has been convicted of.

The trial at Liverpool Crown Court in northwest England heard that Bennell has served prison sentences for prior sex offences.During evidence, prosecutors said Bennell groomed not only his victims but their families too.

Barry Bennell, who has previously received three jail sentences for offenses against children, was found guilty of 36 sex charges linked to 10 complainants.

The jury at Liverpool Crown Court had already convicted him of 27 charges of indecent assault earlier this week, along with seven serious sexual assaults and two attempted serious sexual assaults.

His former teammates at the Crewe Alexandra youth team, which was trained by Bennell, said the coach accused him of stealing money - a tactic against boys who tried to escape his advances.

"The club wishes to make it absolutely clear that had it had any suspicion or belief that Mr Bennell was committing acts of abuse, either before, during or after he left the club's employment, the club would have informed the police immediately".

Victims had been forced to describe in court the abuse they had suffered and then lived with so long.

He also demanded an apology from Crewe Alexandra.

"We were little boys with a dream", he said.

A police officer who oversaw the team responsible for interviewing Bennell for this latest prosecution told Sky News he had no remorse about the abuse he inflicted on the children.

Isaiah Thomas & Rajon Rondo Ejected After On-Court Altercation
Rondo was caught on video putting his hand in Thomas' face before the two eventually got into a larger scuffle. At the end of the day, Thomas said "nothing should've made that escalate like it did". "It was obvious.

Bennell, who had part of his tongue removed due to cancer, appeared in court via videolink for health reasons.

Asked if he had expected the reaction to his story to have been so widespread, Woodward said: "I knew he was prolific, I knew he was on an industrial scale".

Mr Unsworth said: "We stand before you today as men united in justice, but this is about so much more than us".

She said: "I hope that in coming forward and making this complaint and pushing it forward that it will give them some feeling that they're shifting the burden away from themselves on to the person where it belongs, and that's Barry Bennell".

His barrister, Eleanor Laws QC, described him as being a "sitting target" after being convicted of child sexual abuse in the 1990s and in 2015.

One of Bennell's victims, who he had pleaded guilty to abusing in 1998, said he knew of four men who had been coached by Bennell, including former Wales manager Gary Speed, who had gone on to take their own lives.

"T$3 he Club can confirm that to date, the Review Team has identified serious allegations of child sex abuse in respect of two identifiable individuals with potential historic connections to Manchester City".

In an example of Bennell's brazen confidence and of the free rein he enjoyed from such clubs, one victim claimed he was sexually assaulted in broad daylight on the Manchester City football pitch.

The club said it was keen to speak to any survivor or witness to sexual abuse which might be connected to Manchester City or which could support a review it launched after the latest allegations were raised in 2016.

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