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Barry Bennell loses appeal against 30-year sentence for child sex offences

1:51 pm, 20th June 2018

Bennell, 64, took his case to the Court of Appeal in the hope of a shorter sentence.

But three judges upheld his 30-year term, which was handed down by Liverpool Crown Court for 52 offences committed against 12 boys between 1979 and 1991.

His appeal was registered under his new name, Richard Jones.

His case was dismissed, with Lady Justice Hallett telling him: “This was a campaign, or several campaigns, of rape on a huge scale.

“The appellant committed a vast number of sexual offences, some of them of the most serious kind.

“He preyed sexually on young boys in his care, his offending amounted to a gross abuse of the trust placed in him – by the victims themselves, by their families and by the clubs that employed him.

“The consequences for the victims and their families were appalling.

“The sentence was severe, particularly when he has already served three prison sentences for similar offending.

“But in our judgment the offences were so serious, the timescale so extended, the aggravating factors so numerous and the mitigation so limited, that it would be wrong for this court to interfere with the sentence.”

She also recounted details which had been heard during his trial, referencing how Bennell described himself as “manipulative, cunning and even predatory” in his own police interview.

She added that he had abused the boys when they were aged eight to 14. After 1992, he moved to the US to be a football coach, and continued his abuse there.

She said his victims suffered throughout their lives with depression, alcoholism and suicidal thoughts, and it had impacted their families.

Lady Justice Hallett told him his sentence was not “manifestly excessive or wrong in principle”.

The former coach is being treated for cancer, and is being fed through a drip in prison. He regularly has to go out for outpatient appointments.

Bennell watched from prison via a video link.

Bennell was imprisoned in February after he was found guilty of the offences during a six-week trial. The court heard he committed “industrial scale” levels of abuse against boys in his care.

His victims talked about the “power hold” he had over them as the coach of Crewe Alexandra and as a Manchester City scout, as they dreamed of becoming professional football players.

Judge Clement Goldstone labelled him “the devil incarnate” when he told him he would serve half his sentence in prison and half of licence.

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