February 16 – Former English league coach Barry Bennell, the figure at the heart of English football’s child abuse scandal, has been found guilty of three more charges of sexual abuse against young players mainly in the 1980s and is due to be sentenced on Monday.
Bennell, who is now known as Richard Jones, has been described by prosecutors as a “child molester on an industrial scale”.
On Tuesday, Bennell, 64, had been convicted of 36 counts of sexual offences, relating to 10 victims. Before the trial, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault involving three boys, two of whom were part of the trial.
The latest case against Bennell, who worked for Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra among other clubs, related to allegations from between 1979 and 1990.
Det Insp Sarah Oliver, who led the investigation, said Bennell had betrayed the trust of young players. “As a football coach he should have provided nothing more than safety and support for the players in his care,” she said.
“Instead he abused them. He also abused the trust of their families who had placed them into that care so they could pursue their dreams of being professional footballers. He has shattered those dreams and left them burdened for decades.”
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