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Former youth coach Bennell guilty of seven more sex assaults

Barry Bennell, the former Crewe Alexandra coach and Manchester City scout, has been found guilty of seven further offences against boys.

NEWS
15 Feb 2018, 19:40 IST
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footballs - cropped
Three footballs used in a pre-game warm-up

Former football coach Barry Bennell has been found guilty of a further seven sex offences against boys in the 1980s.

On Tuesday, Bennell was convicted of 36 charges at Liverpool Crown Court, with the jury then taking more time to consider further counts against him.

After extra deliberations, the 64-year-old was found guilty of seven more charges on Thursday.

Bennell, who appeared in court via a videolink, denied 48 offences that related to indecent assault and serious sexual assaults against boys aged eight to 15.

During his coaching and scouting career he was associated with a number of clubs, including Crewe Alexandra, Manchester City and Stoke City.

A statement from Manchester City read: "Whilst Manchester City FC is restricted as to what it can make public at present, the club can confirm that to date, the review team has identified serious allegations of child sex abuse in respect of two identifiable individuals with potential historic connections to Manchester City.

"One of these individuals is Barry Bennell. The second identified individual – John Broome – is deceased and is not believed to be linked to Bennel. Investigations into Mr Broome and his alleged offences continue.

"In addition to these individuals, the team continues to exhaustively examine a number of reports of historic anomalous behaviours, no matter the level of gravity and strength of potential connection to Manchester City, over a period spanning more than 50 years.

"The club is, at present, unable to name or give specific detail surrounding any such reports due to ongoing legal investigation but remains in regular dialogue with the FA [Football Association] review team and the Police."

City's statement began by offering "heartfelt sympathy to all victims for the unimaginably traumatic experiences they have endured," as a result of Bennell's crimes.

The statement added: "No one can remove their suffering or that of others who suffered sexual abuse as children as a result of their involvement with football. 

"All victims were entitled to expect full protection from the kind of harm they endured."

Crewe added their "deepest sympathies" to the victims of Bennell, and stressed their commitment to "continue to provide cooperation [to the police] as and when required."

Their statement read: "The club would like to reiterate that it was not aware of any sexual abuse by Mr Bennell, nor did it receive any complaint about sexual abuse by him, either before or during his employment with the club. 

"The police have recently undertaken a thorough investigation to determine what knowledge Crewe Alexandra may have had of Mr Bennell's offending whilst he was employed as a coach.

"As a result of their investigations, the police found no evidence to corroborate that the club was aware of Mr Bennell's offending.

"The club wishes to make it absolutely clear that had it had any suspicion or belief that Mr Bennell was committing acts of abuse, either before, during or after he left the club's employment, the club would have informed the police immediately.

"The thoughts of everyone at the club go to the victims and their families at this difficult time."

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