Ex-football coach Barry Bennell pleads guilty to nine sexual offences

The convicted child sex offender and former football coach Barry Bennell has pleaded guilty to nine sexual offences.

The 66-year-old former Crewe Alexandra coach, also known as Richard Jones, entered the pleas at Chester crown court on Friday via video link from HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire.

He admitted three counts of buggery and six counts of indecent assault in relation to two complainants between 1979 and 1988. The victims were aged between 11 and 14 at the time.
Bennell, formerly a scout for Manchester City, is serving a 30-year jail sentence after being convicted of 50 child sexual offences in 2018.

The latest case was adjourned for medical reports on the defendant to be prepared.

The judge, Patrick Thompson, said he would have to put himself in the position of the judge who sentenced Bennell in 2018 and decide how much extra he could have imposed had he been aware there were two more complainants.

He added: “It is important the two victims have the opportunity to come to court.”

He adjourned the case to 5 October.Eleanor Laws QC, defending, asked that Bennell not be required to attend court in person for his sentencing.

She said: “Notwithstanding that these are serious matters, and ordinarily one would expect his attendance, he is, as your honour might know, not very well. Even if there were not a pandemic, he is vulnerable in terms of his health.”

Thompson said he would allow Bennell to attend by video link.

He told Bennell: “You have pleaded guilty to very serious matters. You will receive a custodial sentence, the length of that is to be determined by me.”

Bennell is serving his fourth jail term having previously been sentenced for similar offences involving 16 other victims. The latest charges were brought by the CPS after it reviewed a file of evidence from Cheshire police relating to allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse.

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