Barry Bennell: Paedophile football coach 'wore Man City kit'

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Barry BennellImage source, EPA
Image caption,
Barry Bennell was jailed in 2018 for a string of child sexual abuse offences

Paedophile former football coach Barry Bennell wore a Manchester City kit when coaching at a Butlins holiday camp, an abuse victim's father has told a judge.

The man told a High Court hearing how Bennell was advertised in the camp magazine for Pwllheli, Gwynedd, as a youth coach for the club.

Bennell was Pwllheli Butlins' resident football coach in 1978, 1979 and possibly 1980, he told the court.

Eight men have made damages claims against Manchester City.

Mr Justice Johnson has heard the men, now in their 40s and 50s, were sexually and emotionally abused by Bennell between 1979 and 1985 and are suing the club after suffering psychiatric injuries.

Six are also claiming damages for loss of potential football earnings.

Image caption,
Bennell is serving a 34-year prison sentence after being convicted of sexual offences against boys

The club disputes the claims made by the men.

Bosses say Bennell had been a local scout in the mid-1970s but was not a scout between 1979 and 1985.

The father of one of the victims said his son, who turned 14 in 1980, had taken part in a coaching course at the Butlins camp in the late 1970s.

His son had revealed, a few years ago, that Bennell had abused him during his stay, the man told the judge.

Image source, Court handout
Image caption,
The court previously saw a card describing Bennell as Manchester City's 'North West Representative'

"He ran coaching camps during the school holidays," he said.

"Regrettably, I allowed [my son] to stay at Butlins with Bennell for three or four days during one holiday.

"Butlins had nothing to do with Manchester City Football Club, though Bennell did wear a Manchester City top and kit and they advertised him in their magazine as a Manchester City youth coach."

The man said he recalled Bennell getting "a couple of City players", Peter Barnes and Gary Owen, to attend the camp and present the "Boy of the Week trophy".

"It was Bennell's way of showing Butlins that he was well connected," he added.

Mr Justice Johnson said the man who gave evidence could not be identified.

Bennell is serving a 34-year prison sentence after being convicted of sexual offences against boys on five separate occasions, four in the UK and one in the US, is at Littlehey Prison near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

Bennell is due to give evidence via video-link from prison later this month.

The trial continues.

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