Barry Bennell, a paedophile coach of football, today said that he didn’t abuse any four men who were suing Manchester City for historic sex attacks.
Premier League called today the convicted sexual offender for evidence in High Court to defend damages claims by youth players.
Bennell currently serves a sentence of 34 years for sexually abusing young men. The club claims that Bennell was an unpaid coach for City.
The club claims he didn’t hold that role from 1979 to 1985.
Eight youth coaches claim that they abused them, and are not eligible to receive compensation from Manchester City for Bennell’s convictions. They are currently sue the club.
Bennell was called by Manchester City as a witness today and gave evidence to the High Court.
Four of the four victims claimed Bennell had abused them when they were young boys. However, Bennell admitted that he did abuse others.
Barry Bennell, paedophile football coach and sex abuser (pictured here in a court sketch via videolink), today said to a court that he had not abused four of the eight Manchester City men being sued for alleged sex assault.
Bennell, pictured in 2012 by the club for his 34-year sentence for abusing young boys sexually, is serving a unpaid coaching and Scouting term for City.
He stated that he was not associated with City in the time the men claimed they had been abused.
Barrister James Counsell QC, who is representing the eight men, asked Bennell about his wider abuse of boys between the 1970s and 1990s.
“How many boys are you saying you’ve abused?” Counsell asked.
Bennell responded: “I’m not answering that question.”
He continued, “I am not willing to go into that.”
“I have been found guilty. I have pleaded guilty. I’ve done time. It’s time. You want to do what?
In a written testimony, Bennell stated to the judge that he was not a City “coach” scout in the time the men claimed they had been abused.
These eight men are in their 40s or 50s. Bennell, now 67 and a former coach in North West England, said that he used to abuse them while they were playing schoolboy soccer for his teams.
He stated that his junior teams had nothing to do with City.
Bennell claimed that City had given him a ‘previous link’ as a draw to players who wanted to be a part of my junior teams.
Bennell stated that none of the teams that they ran had any connection with MCFC in a written testimony.
“However, it is understandable that claimants believed they were playing in MCFC-related teams. It was my belief.
‘… I served as a local scout in the MCFC from 1975 to 1978.
He said, “I accept that I would like to continue my education and be a professional coach. Unfortunately, MCFC didn’t offer me a job.”
‘Thereafter I used my connection with MCFC to draw players for my junior teams.
“Throughout my participation in junior football, I used and exploited all my connections to my benefit.
‘I was especially good at making the impression to junior players, their families, and other coaches, that I was a MCFC coaching coach, and that their playing on one of my junior teams implied that they were somehow connected with MCFC. That is what players and their families wanted.
“The truth is, however that I wasn’t a MCFC Coach and my junior teams didn’t have any connection with MCFC after 1978/1979,”
These eight men are in their 40s or 50s. Bennell (now 67) claims that Bennell abused them while they were playing schoolboy soccer for the North West of England teams between 1979-1985.
They assert that Bennell was an employee of City at the time, and that he became a Coach at Crewe in 1985.
City’s first witness was Bennell. The video link he used to give evidence from Huntingdon Prison, Cambridgeshire where he was being held allowed him to do so via video.
They claim Bennell was City’s scout during 1985 when he became a Coach at Crewe. City bosses (pictured: Manchester City’s Etihad stadium) deny this claim. According to them, Bennell was an early City scout but not between 1979 and 1985.
The claim was denied by the City bosses. According to them, Bennell was a City Scout in the middle of 1970s. However, he wasn’t a City Scout between 1979-85.
The trial was being overseen by Mr Justice Johnson, who began in October at the High Court of London.
The lawyers representing City and the men called evidence on Wednesday. City’s lawyers began calling evidence on Tuesday.
City lawyers called Bennell as their first witness. The video link he used to give evidence from Huntingdon Prison, Cambridgeshire was via video.
Justice Johnson was informed by Bennell’s former home near Buxton, Derbyshire that Bennell had been known to abuse schoolboy footballers.
After suffering from psychiatric injury, eight men claim damages. Six men are also seeking damages due to potential loss in football earnings.
After being convicted on five occasions of sexual offenses against boys, Bennell was sentenced to a period of 34 years. He is currently being held at HMP Littlehey.
Bennell, wearing a blue sweatshirt and face mask, appeared before the court today.
Bennell stated that he would like to answer questions while wearing a mask. He stated that he’d recently had five of his teeth extracted and called it ‘Covid.
City’s lawyers argue that while he was a local scout in the mid-1970s, he did not hold the role between 1979 and 1985.
Manchester City’s own investigation into the abuse, headed by Jane Mulcahy, QC, of Blackstone Chambers in London found that Bennell ‘had a form of association’ with the club from the summer of 1975 to later 1979 and late 1981 to the spring of 1984.
This investigation team published their report in March. Bennell refused to speak on this occasion.
City’s own compensation scheme for victims of abuse who settled told possible claimants it was open to victims of Bennell from August 1976 to November 1979 and August 1981 to December 1984.