Former football coach Barry Bennell loses appeal against 30-year jail sentence for child sex offences

Football coach Barry Bennell has lost a Court of Appeal challenge against his 30-year prison sentence for child sex offences (Picture: PA)

Football coach Barry Bennell has lost a Court of Appeal challenge against his 30-year prison sentence for child sex offences.

The former Crewe Alexandra coach and Manchester City scout was handed the sentence at Liverpool Crown Court in February for 52 offences committed against 12 boys he coached between 1979 and 1991.

Three Court of Appeal judges in London have now ruled that the length of his jail term was not excessive.

Offences – Bennell is a former youth coach at Crewe Alexandra Football Club (Picture: PA)

Dismissing Bennell’s appeal one of the three judges, Lady Justice Hallett said the “huge scale” of his offending meant it would be “wrong” for the court to interfere with the sentence.

The court heard his prison term could not be described as “manifestly excessive or wrong in principle”.

MOST POPULAR TODAY ON YAHOO

During his six-week trial Bennell, 64, was said to have committed “industrial scale” levels of abuse against vulnerable prepubescent boys in his care.

Complainants told how he had a “power hold” over them as they dreamed of becoming professional footballers and Judge Clement Goldstone QC said his abuse had led to them suffering problems including alcoholism and depression.

Labelling him “the devil incarnate”, the judge told him he would serve half of the 30-year term in custody with the rest on licence and also order him to serve an additional licence period of one year.

Bennell had previously served three jail terms, totalling 15 years, for similar offences involving 16 other victims.