LONDON: A former British football trainer branded “sheer evil” by the judge who jailed him for abusing 12 boys pleaded guilty to a further nine sexual offences on Friday.
Former Crewe Alexandra coach Barry Bennell, 66, entered the pleas via video-link from Littlehey prison in south east England, where he is serving a 30-year term after being convicted in 2018 of 50 counts of abusing boys he coached between 1979 and 1991. On Friday, the former Manchester City scout admitted three counts of buggery and six counts of indecent assault against two victims between 1979 and 1988.
Police said in 2018 that Bennell’s possible victims could number more than 100. “You were the devil incarnate. You stole their childhoods and their innocence to satisfy your own perversion,” Judge Clement Goldstone said as he read out the sentence in a court in Liverpool, northwest England.
“Your behaviour towards these boys in grooming and seducing them before subjecting them to, in some cases, the most serious, degrading and humiliating abuse was sheer evil.” Bennell has already served three jail terms totalling 15 years for similar offences involving 16 other victims.
During the initial six-week trial, Bennell was accused of committing “industrial scale” levels of abuse against vulnerable pre-pubescent boys in his care. Former Liverpool and Tottenham star Paul Stewart, who also played for the England national team, described how he was abused as a teenager. His revelations came shortly after former Crewe player Andy Woodward went public with allegations against Bennell. The case has sparked wider allegations of sexual and physical abuse of boys at football clubs across Britain in the 1970s and 1980s, some of whom went on to become heroes of the terraces and international stars.