Who is Barry Bennell? Serial paedophile’s heinous crimes, sentence and how he died
Peadophile Barry Bennell passed away while serving a 34-year sentence for the sexual abuse of young boys while working as a football coach.
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Serial paedophile and former football coach Barry Bennell has died in prison at the age of 69 while serving a 34-year sentence for the sexual abuse of boys. The ex-Crewe Alexandra coach and former Manchester City scout had been diagnosed with cancer and was previously subject to an attack while in prison.
Bennell died in HMP Littlehey but the cause of his death has not yet been confirmed. An investigation is ongoing into the circumstances of the criminal's passing. The coach's crimes were exposed in 1997 by Channel 4 Dispatches film Soccer's Foul Play and also examined closely in BBC documentary Football's Darkest Secret.
Who was Barry Bennell?
Barry Bennell was a convicted paedophile and rapist who previously worked as a football coach and scout for clubs including Manchester City, Crewe Alexandra and Stoke City. The pervert was also known as Richard Jones.
The sexual predator's crimes became the subject of intense media coverage after victims bravely waived anonymity to speak out about the abuse suffered and help bring Bennell to justice.
Ex-footballers Andy Woodward and Steve Walters were two of the men who came forward to share their story of the abuse dealt by Bennell.
Bennell was described by one judge as the 'devil incarnate' for the heinous and persistent nature of his crimes.
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.
"In reality, you were the devil incarnate. You stole their childhoods and their innocence to satisfy your own perversion."
What did Barry Bennell do?
Serial paedophile Barry Bennell was convicted of sexual offences against boys on five separate occasions.
The criminal was first jailed in Florida in 1994 for raping a British boy on a football tour in the country. He then went on to face prison sentences in the UK in 1998, 2015, 2018 and 2020.
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. He was given a 30-year sentence which was extended to 34 after being convicted of abusing two more boys in 2020.
More than 100 victims were believed to have come forward to allege they were abused by Bennell during his lifetime and a judge ruled that he “grossly abused” his role “to use those boys as your sexual playthings".
In 2020 a court heard how Bennell was attacked in prison and left with a detatched retina. At that time it was known he was in remission for cancer.
How did Barry Bennell die?
Barry Bennell was reported dead on Monday, September 18 having passed away the Saturday prior while serving a 34-year prison sentence in HMP Littlehey, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.
Bennell died at the age of 69 and is believed to have had cancer and his passing was confirmed by the Ministry of Justice.
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.”