BC-SOC--England-Sex Abuse Settlement
A lawyer representing a victim of sexual abuse by a former youth-team coach at English soccer club Crewe Alexandra said Tuesday the team has agreed to an out-of-court settlement for damages.
Dino Nocivelli says his client, who was abused by Barry Bennell between the age of 11 and 14, agreed to the deal but has not received an apology from the club. The name of the victim, who is now in his 40s, has not been disclosed.
Bennell was last year jailed for 30 years after being convicted of 50 child sexual offenses committed between 1979 and 1991, when he also coached at Manchester City. Two weeks ago, City said it has set up a scheme to compensate victims of child sexual abuse experienced at the club by two of its former coaches — Bennell and John Broome, who died in 2010.
Nocivelli said he thought Crewe had moved to reach a deal with his client because court proceedings had been issued.
“You can see that they are still kicking and screaming, and refuse to apologize,” he told The Associated Press. “It’s a very odd approach, to settle an action but not apologize. Surely they could go hand in hand.”
Asked if he expected more settlements to follow for victims of sexual abuse by Bennell at Crewe, Nocivelli said: “You would think that, logically, but then there’s lots of thing that should have happened so far which haven’t. ... It should do. Will it? That’s the question, isn’t it?”
A child sex abuse scandal in English soccer was triggered by the decision of a former Crewe player, Andy Woodward, to speak out in November 2016 about abuse he suffered at the hands of Bennell. That sparked many other players to break their silence.
English soccer’s governing body is overseeing an independent inquiry into historical sex abuse in the game. The inquiry is due to report its findings in the coming months.
Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80