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Former football coach pleads guilty to sexually abusing two young boys

Former football coach Barry Bennell has today pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two young boys more than 30 years ago.

The 66-year-old, who is currently in prison after being convicted of similar offences in 2018, appeared via video link at Chester Crown Court, where he admitted nine sexual offences in relation to two victims.

The offences include one count of buggery and six counts of indecent assault in relation to one victim and two counts of buggery in relation to the second victim.

The boys were aged between 10 and 14-years-old at the time of the offences, which date back to the 1980s.

Detective Inspector Sarah Oliver, who has been leading on the case, said:  “Today, Barry Bennell has pleaded guilty to a number of sexual offences – sparing his victims the trauma of having to re-live what happened to them during a trial.  This would undoubtedly have been a very difficult and upsetting experience for them. I hope that this decision will help to provide some closure after so many years of pain trying to deal with and make sense of what happened to them.

“Bennell abused his position of trust as a football coach for his own sexual gratification.  He was highly regarded in his field and took advantage of this by preying on these two young boys at a time in their life when he knew they were vulnerable and dreamt of making it in the world of professional football.  He knew exactly what he was doing was wrong but carried on regardless.

“Anyone who has suffered from sexual abuse – whether it took place recently or many years ago – should never feel ashamed about talking about what has happened to them.  Help and support is available to those who need it.  I commend the victims for their bravery and courage in this case and would like to thank them for their support throughout the investigation.”

The case was adjourned until 5 October when Bennell will be sentenced at Chester Crown Court.

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