February 14 – A former English league coach has been found guilty of multiple sex offences in the 1980s in the latest development in the abuse scandal that has shocked the country.
Barry Bennell, who mainly worked as a talent spotter at lower-league club Crewe Alexandra but also coached at Manchester City and Stoke City and is now 64, was convicted of 36 charges against 10 boys, including indecent and serious sexual assaults. He has already served three prison sentences totalling 15 years for multiple offences committed against boys
Liverpool Crown Court heard Bennell heard he had a “power hold” over aspiring players aged between eight and 15 and abused them on an “industrial scale”.
Bennell, who is now known as Richard Jones, appeared in court via videolink for health reasons and declined to give evidence in his own defence. His barrister accused the complainants of inventing stories about him and “jumping on the bandwagon”.
But prosecutors had described Bennell as a “predatory and determined paedophile” and a “child molester on an industrial scale”.
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