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Paedophile football coach Barry Bennell given fifth jail sentence
8 October 2020, 15:51
Former football coach and serial paedophile Barry Bennell has been jailed for an additional four years after being sentenced over sexual abuse for a fifth time.
The 66-year-old former Crewe Alexandra coach, also known as Richard Jones, was sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to three counts of buggery and six counts of indecent assault against two boys at an earlier hearing.
The offences were committed between 1979 and 1988 when the victims were aged between 11 and 14.
Bennell, wearing a purple jumper, appeared via videolink from HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire, where he is already serving a 30-year sentence after being convicted of 52 child sexual offences against 12 boys in 2018.
Judge Patrick Thompson said: "You had a respected position as a football coach for professional football clubs including Crewe Alexandra, Manchester City and Stoke City.
"It was a position you grossly abused in order to use those boys as your sexual playthings."
He added: "These were children whose parents trusted and respected you, when you were in fact a parent's worst nightmare.
"That, I'm afraid, is your legacy and changing your name will not change that."
He said: "Whilst the complainants may not have achieved their dreams of becoming sporting heroes, they are heroes nonetheless."
He sentenced Bennell to an additional four years in prison and an additional year on licence, making his total jail sentence 34 years with a further two years on licence.
The court heard Bennell had a detached retina after being attacked in prison and was in remission from cancer.
Four of his victims were in court for the sentencing, along with six members of the press.
The court heard Bennell abused his victims while they were staying at his homes in Crewe and Furness Vale, Derbyshire, as well as at children's home Taxal Edge.
In a victim personal statement, one of the victims said he had given up football after suffering a panic attack while playing for his national team.
He said: "Bennell ruined my boyhood dreams and took that away from me."
Owen Edwards, prosecuting, said Bennell was instrumental in forging the careers of several international footballers but was also responsible for "industrial sexual abuse of boys".
He said: "This case represents the final prosecution in a series of cases he has faced."
Bennell was first jailed in Florida in 1994 for raping a British boy on a football tour in America, before going on to face prison sentences in Britain in 1998, 2015 and in 2018.
Mr Edwards said following the last case a decision was made to proceed only with cases involving the most serious offences.
Eleanor Laws QC, defending, said Bennell had already been sentenced to a total of 49 years.
She said following his last conviction he was told by Judge Clement Goldstone QC he "may well die in prison".
Ms Laws said Bennell had undergone an "intensive rehabilitation programme" while in prison in America and had not offended for 25 years.
It is believed he may have more than 100 victims, as 86 complainants came forward to say they were abused by him following his last trial.