After being groomed at a holiday resort, Barry Bennell was a victim of paedophile coach football. He has now received a five-figure settlement.

David Lean (53), first met the child predator in Pwllheli in north-west Wales in 1979.

Bennell, then 11, said that he ‘worked his magic’ on Mr Lean and his father. So after spending a week together, the two exchanged their addresses, became pen friends, and later returned to each other for another trip.

After being convicted for dozens of sexual offenses against boys aged under 18, Bennell was sentenced to a 34 year prison term. He then invited Mr Lean over to his house to spend two nights and attend an FA-endorsed training session.

The coach abused Mr Lean while he was at his home.

David Lean, 53, has secured a five-figure settlement from the former owners of Butlin's after he was groomed by paedophile Barry Bennell in 1979

David Lean, 53, has secured a five-figure settlement from the former owners of Butlin’s after he was groomed by paedophile Barry Bennell in 1979

Notorious paedophile Barry Bennell (pictured) has been convicted on five occasions over dozens of counts of sexual abuse against young boys while working as a football coach between the 1970s and 1990s

Barry Bennell, a notorious paedophile (pictured), has been convicted of dozens of charges of sexual abuse of young boys during his time as a coach of football between the 1970s to 1990s.

Bennell was sentenced to two years imprisonment in 2015 for abusing Mr Lean. However, the law firm Slater and Gordon brought a civil suit on behalf of the victim against Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh Limited (previously known as Butlin’s Limited), who claimed that the company was responsible.

“I have struggled for many years for justice for the things that happened to me when I was a child to this monster,” Mr Lean stated.

“It became very important that I also ensure that Bennell was held responsible for the abuse of boys by all who were involved in his creation.

“Lessons need to be learned to avoid the abuse of future generations. Nobody should have to look blindly at the consequences.

“While I never experienced sexual abuse at Butlin’s, my abuser was able to use them as a gateway to my family and myself in order for him later access when I am abused.

Bennell's abuse went on for two decades until a boy accused him of sexual assault in 1994

Bennell suffered from abuse for more than two decades, until a young boy in 1994 accused him of sexual violence. 

Kim Harrison, the lead lawyer representing Mr Lean said she was “delighted” to have reached a five-figure settlement.

She stated that Barry Bennell was an apropos paedophile, who made use of his Butlin’s position to get married and abuse the client.  

We reached out to Rank Group, the owners of Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh Ltd.

Bennell, a former football coach, used his authority to bully young boys starting in the 1970s. In 1992, Bennell joined the Staffordshire Stone Dominoes team as their head coach after stints at Leeds United, Crewe and Stoke City.

Bennell was at the Stone Dominoes when his offending came to light. A 13-year old player had accused Bennell of sexual abuse on a 1994 United States tour. 

Bennell was arrested in Jacksonville, Florida, and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to six charges of sexual battery and lewd and lascivious behaviour.

Bennell didn’t serve the full sentence. However, he was arrested immediately upon his return from England after revealing sexual abuse in 1996 Dispatches document. 

He was accused of a series of sexual assaults on and charges of buggery against nine- to 15-year-old boys. The case led to Bennell being convicted in 1998 of 23 sexual assaults and counts of buggery against boys aged nine through 15.

Pictured: Barry Bennell in an American court in 1995, where he pleaded guilty to six sexual battery charges

Pictured: Barry Bennell at an American Court in 1995. He pleaded guilty six charges of sexual assault. 

The CPS chose not to make victims go through the pain of giving evidence in a trial, so 22 more charges were filed. 

Bennell’s tale did not stop there. After he moved to Milton Keynes in 2015 and claimed to be Richard Jones, he was once again detained for his abuse against Mr Lean. He received a sentence of two years.

In 2016 and 2017, other historic offenses against boys were discovered. This culminated in an arrest at Liverpool Crown Court on January 2018. 

Bennell, who was accused of seven offences against children aged between 1981-1985, pleaded guilty at the beginning. However, a jury indicts him for 43 additional charges.  He was sentenced to 31 years in jail for the 50 charges against him. The remainder of his time will be served on license and prison.

Pictured: Bennell while he was a football coach in 1980s, during the peak of his offending

Pictured is Bennell during 1980s football coaching peak, when his crimes were at their highest

Eight men, all in the 40s and 50s, launched a civil claim in October against Manchester City after saying Bennell abused them

In October, eight men in their 40s and 50s filed a civil suit against Manchester City, alleging that Bennell had abused them.

Even so, evidence continued to mount of Bennell’s sexual abuse of young boys. 

Bennell, who pleaded guilty to nine additional offences between 1979-1988 at Chester Crown Court in July 2020 was sentenced to four more years. This brings his sentence total to 34 years.

Eight men in their 50s and 40s took legal action against Manchester City last October, claiming Bennell had abused them while they were youth soccer players more than 30 decades ago. Manchester City denies Bennell was an employee during the alleged abuse.


Jahrzehntes of abuse, before he was brought to justice. Timeline for the Barry Bennell case 

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

From the mid 1970s to the late 1980sButlin’s Holiday Camp in Pwllheli is home to Butlin’s coaches. Also, Whitehill FC Manchester Youth team, where he tells detectives.

From November 1979 through July 1981As a social worker in the Taxal Edge Children’s Home, Whaley Bridge (Dereshire), I was employed as a resident.

1982 to 1985Derbyshire Youth Team Coaches, who provided many young recruits to Manchester City.

From 1985 to 1992Bennell works for Crewe Alexandra or on its behalf, and is not a coach in spells in Georgia in the United States in 1990 and 1989.

1990:Linda Woodward marries Andy Woodward’s sister, Linda. They have two more children.

1992 to 1994 Stoke City employs Bennell or for its behalf.

1994:He was on a 10-week American tour as a coach for a Staffordshire youth football team.

1995:In Florida, he was convicted of four counts for indecent assault upon a child and sentenced at four years imprisonment. Before his conviction, he spent time in jail. Bennell also victimized his victim in Britain. That leads to a domestic investigation.

January 1997Channel 4’s Dispatches has Bennell as a guest star. Ian Ackley, a former youth soccer player, gives up his anonymity to tell Soccer’s Foul Play that Bennell had sexually assaulted him.

September 1997At the end of Bennell’s sentence, the US deport Bennell and he arrives in the UK with charges of sexual offenses relating to several complainants.

June 1998Chester Crown Court: On the first day for his scheduled trial, he pleaded guilty to 23 charges of sexual abuse against 15 victims between 1978-1992. The victims include Mr Ackley, Mr Woodward. There are currently 22 alleged offenses. He will spend nine years behind bars.

Mai 2015On the first day in his 1980 trial for sexually abusing 12-year-old boys, Bennell pleads guilty before the same court. Two years are served in jail for Bennell. He claimed that his mother would be affected by the death of his child. He contacted police after his mother died in 2013. According to the court, he suffered abuse at Bennell’s Taxal Edge home while he was staying at his Macclesfield coaching session.

November 2016Woodward gives a powerful, emotional interview for the Guardian and BBC Victoria Derbyshire. This leads to Bennell being contacted by a variety of people who complain and an investigation is initiated.

January 2018,Liverpool Crown Court brings Bennell on trial. He is accused of historical child sex crimes against 11 people between 1979 and 1990.

February 2018.Liverpool Crown Court has sentenced Bennell to 30 years in prison for 52 child sexual offences committed against 12 boys.

July 2020Bennell also admits to nine additional sex offenses – three counts for buggery, six counts for indecent assault and six counts in connection with two other complainants who were between 11-14 years old at the time.

October 2020Chester Crown Court sentenced Bennell to four years imprisonment in addition to his 30-year term for nine sexual offenses against two boys.