Former football coach Barry Bennell admits nine sexual offences

Former football coach and serial paedophile Barry Bennell has pleaded guilty to nine sexual offences.

The 66-year-old former Crewe Alexandra coach, also known as Richard Jones, entered the pleas at Chester Crown Court on Friday, by videolink from HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire.

He admitted three counts of buggery and six counts of indecent assault in relation to two complainants between 1979 and 1988.

The victims were aged between 11 and 14 at the time.

Bennell, who used to work as a scout for Manchester City, is serving a 30-year prison sentence after being convicted of 50 child sexual offences in 2018.

Barry Bennell
Barry Bennell

The latest case was adjourned for medical reports on the defendant to be prepared.

Judge Patrick Thompson said he would have to put himself in the position of the judge who sentenced Bennell in 2018 and decide how much extra he could have imposed had he been aware there were two more complainants.

He added: “It is important the two victims have the opportunity to come to court.”

He adjourned the case to October 5.

Eleanor Laws QC, defending, asked that Bennell not be required to attend court in person for his sentencing.

She said: “Notwithstanding that these are serious matters, and ordinarily one would expect his attendance, he is, as your honour might know, not very well.

“Even if there were not a pandemic, he is vulnerable in terms of his health.”

Judge Thompson said he would allow Bennell to attend by videolink.

He told Bennell: “You have pleaded guilty to very serious matters. You will receive a custodial sentence, the length of that is to be determined by me.”

Bennell is serving his fourth jail term having previously been sentenced for similar offences involving 16 other victims.

The latest charges were brought by the CPS after it reviewed a file of evidence from Cheshire Police relating to allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse.