Trial: Ex-soccer coach accused of abuse when Man City scout
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — A former youth soccer player testified Thursday that he was sexually abused by ex-coach Barry Bennell as they traveled to and from training at Manchester City.
Bennell, who is 64, denies 48 child sex offenses against 11 complainants between 1979 and 1990.
On the third day of evidence at Liverpool Crown Court, the complainant said Bennell was a scout for Man City at the time and would take him to matches and training for the club’s junior team. He said the abuse would take place regularly after Bennell picked him up.
“I just thought it was normal, this is what you have to do,” said the complainant, who has the right to anonymity in the British justice system.
He said he also was abused when he stayed overnight at Bennell’s home. He told how other boys would stay over and regularly watch horror movies in the dark so they would become frightened, and would probably move closer to Bennell.
The complainant said he was also at English club Crewe at the same time as Bennell, following their time at Man City.
Bennell is appearing in court via video-link because of illness. He has admitted to seven offenses of indecent assault and the court has already heard he has previously been convicted in England and the United States for child sex abuse.
During questioning by Eleanor Laws, defending Bennell, the complainant said he was not testifying to get compensation, but because “this is about justice.”