Paedophile former football coach Barry Bennell dies in prison

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Paedophile former football coach Barry Bennell has died in prison.

Bennell, who reportedly had cancer, had been in HMP Littlehey, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, where he was serving a 34-year sentence.

He was imprisoned after being convicted of sexual offences against boys on five separate occasions – four in the UK and one in the United States.

He was first jailed in Florida in 1994 for raping a British boy on a football tour in America, before going on to face prison sentences in the UK in 1998, 2015, 2018 and 2020.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “Prisoner Barry Bennell died at HMP Littlehey on 16 September 2023. As with all deaths in custody, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will investigate.”

In February 2018, Bennell was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of 50 child sexual offences committed against 12 boys he coached between 1979 and 1991.

Sentencing Bennell, the Recorder of Liverpool, Judge Clement Goldstone QC, told him: “Your behaviour towards these boys in grooming and seducing them before subjecting them to, in some cases, the most serious, degrading and humiliating abuse was sheer evil.”

He said Bennell had appeared to his victims as a God but added: “In reality, you were the devil incarnate.

“You stole their childhoods and their innocence to satisfy your own perversion.”

Bennell had shown no remorse whatsoever for his offences, with the exception of some relatively minor abuse he admitted, the judge added.

In October 2020, he was jailed for an additional four years after pleading guilty to nine sexual offences, including six counts of indecent assault against two boys.

The offences happened between 1979 and 1988 when the victims were aged between 11 and 14.

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