Arrested in Stevenage - admits child sex offences

Ex-football coach was a 'predatory paedophile' who abused one boy 100 times

Ex-football coach was a 'predatory paedophile' who abused one boy 100 times

Bennell worked as a youth coach at Crewe in the 1980s, and also had a close association with Stoke, Manchester City and junior teams across the North West.

Among Bennell's victims was former Northern Ireland global Mark Williams, who made 36 appearances for his country during a long career.

"Not only was there the promise of high quality football, but they were given lots of sports kit and allowed to eat takeaway food", he said.

One described staying in a house "in the middle of nowhere" on a tour where Bennell would play horror films and one of the boys would end up with a sheep's head in his bed, the jury was told.

Complainants also alleged being abused in his auto on the way to and from training and on soccer tours. He pleaded guilty to six counts of sex abuse yesterday but denies a further 48 charges.

When interviewed about the allegations he faces, Mr Johnson said Bennellclaimed he was the victim of a "concerted effort" by people to make false allegations.

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When interviewed about the allegations he now faces, Bennell occasionally said people were making things up about him and using details they had found on the internet, put there by youth footballers who previously made complaints of serious sexual misconduct against him, Mr Johnson told the court.

Bennell appeared in court via video-link.

The boys, who dreamed of a life in professional football would often stay over at Bennell's various addresses on the pretext of preparing for matches, Mr Johnson told the court.

Mr Bennell was charged with 55 offences relating to 12 complainants, aged between eight and 15 at the time.

He has pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault related to his current trial, which is expected to last eight weeks and will continue on Wednesday morning.

After a long summary of the counts against Bennell, the prosecution told the jury they have "only scratched the surface" of the detail they will hear during the trial.

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