Barry Bennell trial: Boy ‘abused on the way to games’

Barry Bennell appearing in court via a video link

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Barry Bennell, now known as Richard Jones, is appearing in court via a video link

Former football coach Barry Bennell abused a boy while giving him lifts to and from training and youth matches at Manchester City, a court has heard.

A witness told Liverpool Crown Court he was abused by Mr Bennell – who acted as a youth scout for the club – from the age of around nine or 10.

He said his parents were very busy and “trusted Mr Bennell to pick me up”.

Mr Bennell, 64, now known as Richard Jones, denies 48 sex offence charges involving 11 boys.

The alleged offences took place between 1979 and 1991.

Giving evidence in court, the witness said he was a junior footballer when he first met Mr Bennell, who worked as a scout for Manchester City at the time.

He told the court Mr Bennell would pick him up “on all occasions”, taking him to matches and training.

He said the abuse would begin with a game called “follow me”, which the Mr Bennell would initiate.

‘Walked away’

“He would move his hands around your body on the outside of your clothes, tickle you, and you would have to do the same to him,” he said.

The game would keep going until his hands were “inside your shirt or inside your underpants”, the witness told the jury.

“I just thought it was normal, this is what you have to do,” he added.

He said the abuse would take place regularly, if not every time Mr Bennell gave him a lift.

“That game was pretty much ongoing until, basically, I walked away from football,” he told the court.

Mr Bennell is on trial for 35 counts of indecent assault, 11 serious sexual assaults and two counts of attempted sexual assault, on boys aged between eight and 14.

He is appearing in court via video link due to illness.

Before the trial, Mr Bennell, an ex-Crewe Alexandra coach, admitted seven charges of indecent assault committed between 1981 and 1991, relating to three boys aged between 11 and 14.

The trial continues.

Barry Bennell trial: Boy ‘abused on the way to games’

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