Ex-football coach Barry Bennell chooses not to give evidence at abuse trial


Ex-football coach Barry Bennell has chosen not to give evidence at his child sex abuse trial.

Jurors at Liverpool Crown Court were told on Thursday by his barrister, Eleanor Laws QC, that the defence would be calling no evidence on his behalf following the close of the prosecution case.

The court has heard evidence from 11 complainants who say there were abused by the former Crewe Alexandra coach on various dates between 1979 and 1991.

The Crown say the defendant is a "predatory and determined paedophile" who carried out "systematic and persistent" sexual abuse of young boys while he worked as a youth coach in Cheshire, Derbyshire and Manchester.

Bennell, 64, denies offences of indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery.

He has been following the proceedings via videolink, as he needs to be frequently fed through a tube because part of his tongue had to be removed when he developed oral cancer.

The trial was adjourned until Monday when the prosecution and the defence will give their closing speeches to the jury.

Summing up of the case by the Recorder of Liverpool, Judge Clement Goldstone QC, is expected to begin on Tuesday.