Manchester City has been sued by a man who claims he was abused as a boy by Barry Bennell, a paedophile former Scout. The man told a High court judge today that an apology from Barry Bennell would not be of any value to him.

The man also told Mr Justice Johnson that Bennell ‘quite clearly’ had a role at Manchester City in the 1980s, something that is denied by the football club.

He stated that he had not participated in the City’s compensation program because he disagreed with its terms.

He stated that the club had dictated, but not negotiated and told the judge that their apology meant nothing to him.

One of eight City residents who have taken legal action was the man giving evidence at the High Court in London on the second day.

A man who sued Manchester City for damages after complaining of being abused by paedophile former scout Barry Bennell (pictured, file photo) as a boy has told a High Court judge that an apology from the club would mean nothing to him

Manchester City was sued by a man who complained of being abused as a boy by Barry Bennell (pictured, File photo). He told a High Court judge that an apology would not mean anything to him.

After being convicted five more times for sexual offences against boyhood, Mr Justice Johnson has learned that Bennell is currently in a 34-year sentence in prison.

Four of his convictions were in the UK while one was in the US. He is currently being held at Littlehey prison in Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire).

He was told that Bennell sexually and emotionally abused eight men between 1979-1985. They are now seeking damages for psychiatric injuries.

Sixteen are also seeking damages for potential football earnings losses.

The eight men are now in their 40s/50s and claim Bennell abused them when Bennell was playing youth football in England’s north west more than 30 year ago.

They claim Bennell was working as a Manchester City scout during the time.

Men make city dispute claims

Lawyers for the club claim that Bennell was a “local scout” in the mid-1970s, but that he didn’t have any role in the 1980s.

The eight men are in their 40s and 50s and claim Bennell abused them while they were playing youth soccer in the north-west of England over 30 years ago. They claim Bennell was a Manchester City Scout at the time. The men made claims about City disputes. Pictured: Manchester City’s Etihad Stadion in Manchester, UK

City denies Bennell was an employer or in a relationship “akin to work” at ‘the present times and denies being vicariously liable.

Justice Johnson heard about the club’s compensation scheme, which was established more than four decades ago.

Bennell (pictured), who worked as a coach at Crewe Alexandra, is serving a 34-year prison sentence after being convicted five times for sexual offences against boys

After being convicted five more times for sexual offences against men, Bennell (pictured), is currently serving a 34-year sentence in prison.

The man stated to the judge that he was not compensated under the scheme.

He stated that he didn’t agree to the terms and conditions. They dictated, they didn’t negotiate. They told us that it was this way or the highway.

He said, “They have done nothing in mine to resolve the matter.”

The man, who was the first of eight to testify at the trial, remembered first meeting Bennell when he was a schoolboy.

Bennell approached his father with a blue card, describing him as Manchester City’s ‘northwest representative’.

According to the man, he later trained at Manchester City’s training grounds.

Mr Justice Johnson was told by the man that Bennell would be able to walk through the doors. He was known by everyone.

The man stated that he did indeed have a role at Manchester City.

He said, “He ran and coached their teams and their athletes.

The man, who the judge heard wants more than £200,000 in compensation for lost earnings, said Manchester City ‘had some control’ over Bennell.

Mr Justice Johnson ruled that the man could not be identified in media reports about the case.

Bennell was sentenced in October 2020 to his fifth term in prison – four years for nine sexual offenses against two boys.

Bennell is a former football coach at Crewe Alexandra, whose Gresty Road stadium is pictured

Bennell is a former Crewe Alexandra football coach. The Gresty Road stadium can be pictured.

Bennell is currently serving his fifth term in jail after being sentenced for similar offenses involving 16 other victims.  

He was first imprisoned in Florida in 1994 after raping a British boy while on a football trip in America. He then went on to serve sentences in Britain in 1998 and 2015, as well as in 2018.

After Bennell’s 2018 trial, it was revealed 86 more people had reported Bennell’s abuse, which could mean that he may have more victims than 100. 

Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, the Recorder of Liverpool at the time, called Bennell “the devil incarnate” and warned him that he would’may well die in jail’.   

Adults can call the NSPCC helpline at 0808 800 5000, while children can call Childline at 0800 1111.

Decades of abuse, before he was finally brought into justice: Timeline for the Barry Bennell case 

1970s in the early stages: Bennell said that he began his coaching career when he was 18 years old at the London-based junior club Senrab FC. 

The 1970s, mid- to late: Butlin’s holiday camp is in Pwllheli, North Wales. He also starts working with Manchester youth club Whitehill FC. He also tells detectives.

November 1979 – July 1981: I was employed as a resident Social Worker at the now closed Taxal Edge children’s home in Whaley Bridge.

1982 to 1985: Coaches youth team in Derbyshire that provided many youth recruits for Manchester City.

1985 to 1992Bennell is employed or on behalf Crewe Alexandra, except for a spell-coaching in Georgia, United States of America, 1989 and 1990.

1990: Marries Linda Woodward (sister of Andy Woodward, one of his abuse victims). The couple have two children.

1992 to 1994: Bennell is employed or on behalf Stoke City. 

1994: He was on a 10-week tour in the United States, while he was coaching a Staffordshire youth soccer team.

1995: He is sentenced to four-years imprisonment in Florida for four counts each of indecent assault upon a young boy. He was in custody for a time before his conviction. Bennell also abused his victim in Britain, leading to a domestic investigation.

January 1997: Bennell is featured on the Channel 4 documentary series Dispatches. Ian Ackley, a former youth soccer player, breaks his anonymity and tells Soccer’s Foul Play about the sexual abuse he suffered from Bennell.

September 1997After Bennell’s sentence is completed, US authorities deport him to the UK. He is then charged with sexual offences in relation to a number.

June 1998: He plead guilty at Chester Crown Court to the first day of his scheduled court trial to 23 counts for sexual abuse. These charges relate to 15 victims, aged between nine and fourteen years, between 1978 to 1992. Mr Ackley is one of the victims, as well as Mr Woodward. There are currently 22 alleged offences. He is sentenced for nine years.

May 2015: Bennell pleads guilty in the same court to the first day of his 1980 trial for sexually abusing a 12-year old boy. He is sentenced to two years in prison. Because of the impact it would have on his mother, he did not bring forward his victim in 1997. He contacted police after his mother died in 2013. The court heard that he was abused at Bennell’s Taxal Edge living quarters while he was staying with him during Macclesfield coaching sessions.

November 2016: Mr Woodward abandons anonymity to give powerful interviews to BBC Victoria Derbyshire and Guardian. This leads to Bennell being contacted by a number of people who complain and a new investigation is initiated.

January 2018Liverpool Crown Court: Bennell is on trial for 48 historical child sex offenses against 11 victims between 1979 and 1990.

February 2018,After being convicted of 52 child sex offences against 12 boys, Bennell was sentenced to 30 years in prison at Liverpool Crown Court.

July 2020: Bennell is charged with nine additional sex offenses – three counts for buggery, six counts for indecent assault and three counts of buggery in relation to two individuals who were between 11 and 14 years old at the time.

October 2020 : Bennell is sentenced at Chester Crown Court to four years in prison, in addition to the 30-year sentence he is already serving, for nine sexual offences against two boys.