barry bennell

Former Crewe Alex football coach Barry Bennell has been sentenced for sexually abusing two young boys more than 30 years ago.

The 66-year-old, currently in prison after being convicted of similar offences in 2018, appeared via video link at Chester Crown Court, where he was sentenced to an extra four years in prison – to run consecutively to his current 30-year prison term.

It means a total sentence of 34 years in custody, with an additional two years on licence.

In July 2020, Bennell pleaded guilty to nine sexual offences in relation to two victims.

The offences include one count of buggery and six counts of indecent assault in relation to one victim and two counts of buggery in relation to the second victim.

The boys were aged between 11 and 14 at the time of the offences, which date back to between 1979 and 1988.

Following sentencing, Detective Inspector Sarah Oliver, who has been leading on the case, said: “Today, Barry Bennell has been sentenced for further sexual offences against young boys.

“There is no doubt that he is a predatory paedophile who abused his position of trust for his own sexual gratification and the sentence handed down today reinforces that.

“No-one should ever have to experience what these boys did – and at such a young age.

“Bennell was highly regarded by many and took advantage of these budding footballers at a time in their life when he knew they were vulnerable.

“He knew right from wrong but continued on the path that sadly destroyed many lives along the way.

“He has shown little remorse for his actions – but, in this case, did spare his victims the trauma of having to re-live what happened to them during a trial by admitting his guilt.

“This would undoubtedly have been a very difficult and upsetting experience for them.

“I hope that this decision helps to provide them with some closure after so many years of pain trying to deal with and make sense of what happened to them.”

It follows on from Bennell’s previous jail term handed down in 2018 after he was found guilty of 43 offences including indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery following a lengthy trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

The offences related to 12 victims and took place between 1979 and 1991.

Bennell also pleaded guilty at the start of the trial to seven further offences, bringing the total convictions to 50.

DI Oliver added: “No-one should ever feel ashamed about talking about what happened to them – no matter how long ago that might be.

“We should never underestimate the impact that this type of offending has on the victims.

“In this case, they have shown remarkable bravery and courage and I would like to thank them for their continued support throughout the investigation.

“I hope that the conclusion today helps to close a painful chapter and hopefully open up a new one where they can start to rebuild their lives.”

Offside Trust, set up in the wake of the scandal of sexual abuse in football, welcomed the sentencing – but says there are many more cases which have not been brought to court.

In a statement, it said: “We are delighted that two more survivors have seen justice done today.

“No number of additional years would have been enough for this serial abuser, but we can at least take some solace from the justice that has been served.

“Today is an important milestone in the lives of our fellow survivors.

“The decision not to bring the dozens of other outstanding cases to court is a bitter blow to so many men and their families. We share their anger, disappointment and pain.

“Every single case of abuse perpetrated by this man and others like him, is a monstrous crime.

“Every single case is a heartbreaking and individual story. And every single case should have been investigated and heard in court. Justice cannot continue to be a postcode lottery.

“We now await with great interest the report to the Football Association from Clive Sheldon QC who has reviewed this and other cases of abuse. We await with interest the report to the Football Association from Clive Sheldon QC.

“Sport faces many challenges at the moment from economic survival to fighting prejudice in all its forms, but the protection and safeguarding of children must never be diluted or relegated. We have stood up and spoken out in the hope that others will never have to.

“We would like to thank the police, the judiciary, the media and everyone who has supported this long fight for justice.

“Most of all, we thank every survivor who has come forward and we remember the many brothers we have lost and who are no longer with us.”

One Comment

  1. Darren says:

    This is great news that a friend of mine from school is now able to try and put this terrible episode of his life behind him, knowing that his abuser has got the punishment he deserves. This doesn’t take away the fact that it was such a vile and unpleasant way to treat a child which I imagine with stay with this victim for the rest of his life.

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