Ex-football coach Barry Bennell sentenced for four more years for sexual offences against young boys

Luke O'Reilly
·2-min read
Cheshire Police/PA
Cheshire Police/PA

Paedophile football coach Barry Bennell has been sentenced to an extra four years in prison for nine further sexual offence charges.

Dozens of Bennell's alleged victims will not see him charged for crimes against them as he was sentenced for a final time.

The former Crewe Alexandra coach, 66, was sentenced to an extra four years in prison , on top of the 30-year custodial sentence he is currently serving, at Chester Crown Court on Thursday after admitting to nine offences against two boys in the 1970s and 1980s.

The court heard it would be the final prosecution against Bennell, who will not leave prison until he is at least in his eighties.

More than 100 victims are believed to have come forward to allege they were abused by the paedophile (PA)
More than 100 victims are believed to have come forward to allege they were abused by the paedophile (PA)

More than 100 victims are believed to have come forward to allege they were abused by the paedophile, who has now been convicted of sexual abuse against 22 boys.

Former Manchester City youth player Gary Cliffe, whom Bennell was convicted of abusing in 2018 , said the justice system was “inept” at dealing with cases on that scale.

Speaking outside court, he said he was “devastated” for those who had come forward with allegations which Bennell would not be charged with.

He said: “We need to have a conversation about mass reporting and how every person gets their day in court.”

Detective Inspector Sarah Oliver said Cheshire Police had investigated complaints from dozens of alleged victims in the biggest probe of its type the force had ever seen.

Barry Bennell appearing via video link at an earlier hearing (PA)
Barry Bennell appearing via video link at an earlier hearing (PA)

She said: “It was a difficult process.

“Anyone who has been a victim of child sexual abuse does deserve to have their day in court, they do deserve justice, but because of the number of individuals Barry Bennell abused that has just not been possible in this particular case.

“I hope that they can see this as a vicarious justice.”

She said there had been consultation between police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and those who had come forward.

Not all of those who made allegations wished to proceed with them to trial, she said.

She added: “There’s no sentence that is ever going to bring back those childhoods, no sentence that is ever going to change the course of the individual lives that were sent off track, to change the promising careers that didn’t come to fruition or those happy young boys becoming depressed.

“None of that is going to be undone but a 34-year sentence is an accurate and good reflection of that damage.”