Following a five-week trial at Liverpool Crown Court, ex-Manchester City football coach Barry Bennell has today been sentenced to 31 years in prison for more than 50 counts of child abuse.
Taking place over eleven years, the abuse was described in court as ‘industrial in scale’, with a reported 86 people coming forward to say they were abused by Bennell, now known as Richard Jones.
The jury spent four days deliberating, taking into consideration a total of 48 charges relating 11 complainants, all of which Bennell denied at the start proceedings.
Bennell was eventually sentenced to 31 years in prison for 50 counts of child sexual abuse.
Previously, Bennell was jailed for nine years in 1998 after he admitted 23 charges of sexual offenses against six boys aged between 9 and fifteen.
This latest trial makes it the fourth time Bennell, now aged 64 had been found guilty of child abuse, with the jury learning that Bennell had previously received three jail sentences in the UK and in the US.
Football club liability and safeguarding young football players
As more footballers come forward to give their own accounts of sexual exploitation and as the Football Association move forward to set up their own internal inquiry, it’s clear that football clubs need to start thinking about their own liability, including safeguarding procedures and processes when it comes to protecting young football players.
Making a claim for abuse
Costs and damages awarded to Bennell’s victims could be significant due to the high profile nature of the case and severity of the incidents. The specialist abuse team at Carter Moore represent professional footballers to ensure that once a conviction is secured, a claim can be progressed to the compensation stage.