Barry Bennell found guilty of further child sexual abuse charges

Barry Bennell found guilty of further child sexual abuse charges

Barry Bennell found guilty of further child sexual abuse charges

Former youth football coach Barry Bennell was found guilty of multiple counts of child sexual abuse on Tuesday, triggering tears from those who accused him of assaulting them as youngsters.

The 64-year-old, who was once a talent spotter at Crewe Alexandra and a coach at Manchester City, was convicted of 36 charges including rape and indecent assault by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court.

The prosecution said Bennell carried out the "systematic and persistent" sexual abuse of young boys, and would groom his victims and also their families.

Bennell, who appeared in court via video link due to illness, declined to give evidence in his defense.

The offences relate to Bennell's time as a coach at Crewe Alexandra, as well as his role as a Manchester City scout. It said the judge directed them to find Bennell not guilty on three other counts.

Victims said they were abused at Bennell's home, which was described by one complainant as a "paradise" for young boys with a pool table, fruit machine, big televisions and unusual pets, as well as on the way to matches and in changing rooms.

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He abused the boys at his homes, on trips away and in his auto while on the way to and from training.

The jury were to resume their deliberations on Friday on the seven outstanding counts.

Eleanor Laws QC, defending, described Bennell as a "sitting target" and asked jurors to put their "understandable potential revulsion" aside when considering verdicts.

But the court heard transcripts of police interviews in which he admitted having a "grooming process" and being attracted to teenage boys.

They were considering a total of 48 charges against 11 complainants which Bennell had denied at the start of the proceedings.

He was also found guilty of three counts of indecent assault and two counts of buggery against a second complainant and four counts of indecent assault against a third complainant.

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