Inside world of serial paedophile Barry Bennell who lured young footballers into his home with a monkey and a puma


Sick serial paedophile Barry Bennell lured young footballers to his home with exotic pets like a monkey and even a puma.

The 64-year-old was today convicted of abusing more young footballers after grooming them with claims that he could fulfil their dreams of a career in the sport.

He already had previously received three jail sentences for similar offences, but was found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court of sex offences against more victims.

During the course of his trial he was described as a “child molester on an industrial scale” who would not just groom his victims, but also their families.



Video footage shown on ITV News of Barry Bennell in an England tracksuit filmed in 1990

He abused the boys at his homes, where he had arcade games as well as exotic pets including a puma and a monkey. In fact one of the victims called it a ‘children’s paradise’.

He also had a plethora of videos – including horror film such as Nightmare on Elm Street, used to ‘soften up’ his victims – as well as a pool table.

Bennell also abused them on trips away and in his car while on the way to and from training.



Ex-football coach Barry Bennell appearing via videolink has been found guilty by jury

Victims who had been coached by Bennell as boys told how he had a “power hold” over them as they dreamed of becoming professional footballers.

He was said to have been treated like “God” at Manchester City’s Maine Road ground.

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One victim, who he had admitted abusing in 1998, said he knew of four men who had been coached by Bennell, including former Wales manager Gary Speed, who had gone on to take their own lives.



Bennell kept exotic animals such as a Puma in his home

The jury was told there was no evidence to link the deaths to Bennell.

Bennell, who had part of his tongue removed due to cancer, appeared in court via videolink for health reasons and declined to give evidence in his own defence.

But the court heard transcripts of police interviews in which he admitted having a “grooming process” and being attracted to teenage boys, although he denied the new allegations and said his accusers were “jumping on the bandwagon” following publicity.

His barrister, Eleanor Laws QC, described him as being a “sitting target” after being convicted of child sexual abuse in the 1990s and in 2015.

She said: “The defendant is a known target and he coached these boys.

“They know when making allegations, whether truthful or not, that they are making allegations against a convicted paedophile.”



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