Barry Bennell abused boys in remote 'haunted house', court told

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Barry Bennell appearing via videolink at Liverpool Crown Court

The jury heard one complainant alleged he was abused in the changing rooms at Crewe Alexandra's ground following a youth team game when Bennell allegedly put his hand in his shorts.

Unsworth chose to come forward after seeing the former Crewe Alexandra player Andy Woodward on television in the week after he had told the Guardian about being abused by Bennell.

In police interviews played to the jury, he said his "target age" was boys of 13 and "nine-year-olds scared me because they were still attached to the [mothers"] apron strings.

Mr Unsworth said the abuse started in the vehicle with a game devised by Bennell called Follow Me - which the defendant is said to have engineered with other complainants.

Abuse also took place at Bennell's then home in the Peak District, the complainant said, which contained a pool table, a fruit machine, a jukebox and sports equipment "everywhere", the court heard.

Bennell is due to appear on video-link for the trial as he needs to be frequently fed through a tube due to illness, the court was told.

She said: "I suggest to you that you were not sexually abused at all by Barry Bennell". Bennell would pick up the 11-year-old boy from his home to take him to training, but on some occasions he would sexually assault him.

The defendant even described some of the testimony of the first alleged victim as "impossible", saying he "would never do something like that".

"That game was pretty much ongoing until, basically, I walked away from football", he told the court. "I was just crying with pain".


"That was his scene, he would try and scare the lads", he told the court. "It felt like it went on for hours but it was probably two or three minutes".

But he said none of the boys spoke to each other about the alleged abuse.

Defending Mr Bennell, Eleanor Laws QC, questioned whether Mr Unsworth had discussed seeking financial compensation with a solicitor or other alleged victims.

He said: 'This is not about compensation, this is about justice'. "Do you agree or disagree?"

He has pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault related to his current trial.

Prosecutors said jurors would hear allegations made in the past against Bennell by footballers in England and Wales, and also in the United States.

He did admit that the youth footballer had stayed at his house and slept in his bed, but said he would have been too young for him to be attracted to.

Bennell denies the offences of indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery against 11 complainants, who were aged between eight and 14 at the time of the alleged offences.

The trial continues on Monday.

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