'Predatory' ex-football coach with High Peak connections sentenced for sexually abusing young boys

An ex-football coach with connections to the High Peak has been sentenced to four more years in prison for abusing two young boys, over 30 years ago.

Former football coach Barry Bennell, who used to work in a Whaley Bridge care home, appeared via video link at Chester Crown Court today (Thursday, October 8) to be sentenced for the crimes he committed against children.

The 66-year-old, who is currently in prison after being convicted of similar offences in 2018, was sentenced to an extra four years in prison – to run consecutively to his current 30-year prison term.

Bennell will now serve 34 years in custody for his crimes, with an additional two years on licence, after he pleaded guilty to nine sexual offences against two victims in July 2020.

Barry Bennell.

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.

Detective Inspector Sarah Oliver 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.”

Today’s sentencing 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 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 number of convictions up 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.”

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