Alleged victims of former football coach Barry Bennell give evidence at trial

BBC    
   ACCUSED Barry Bennell’s trial continues at Liverpool Crown Court

A football coach had a "power hold" that allowed him to abuse young boys who dreamt of being professional players, one of his alleged victims told Liverpool crown court.

Bennell, who is appearing in court via video-link due to illness, denies 48 counts of child sex abuse.

Giving evidence in court, Mr Unsworth said he was a junior footballer playing for his local club when he first met Mr Bennell, who at the time worked as a scout for Manchester City.

"He would move his hands around your body on the outside of your clothes, tickle you, and you would have to do the same to him", he said.

"Every boy just dreamed of being a footballer, so everybody wanted to please him".

Mr Unsworth, who waived his anonymity, when he appeared on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire Show in November 2016 to discuss his alleged abuse, said Bennell would end up in bed in the middle of two boys.

Following a break for lunch the alleged victim was cross-examined while sitting behind a screen, with talkRADIO reporter Alex Dibble saying there was some "definite tension" between him and the defence. You was hoping he would not ask you'.

Abuse also took place at a property the boys called "the haunted house", where Bennell would show the 11 and 12-year-olds horror movies before sexually assaulting them, jurors heard.

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.

He said Mr Bennell's interest in him eventually "fizzled out", adding: "As soon as you started turning up with pubic hair you were past your sell-by date and you were gone".

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The man told the court he then made contact with Woodward.

"The first time I will never forget it, " he said.

During questioning by Eleanor Laws, defending Bennell, the complainant said he was not testifying to get compensation, but because "this is about justice".

A transcript of a police interview with Mr Bennell in February previous year was read to the court, which included a denial that he had abused Mr Unsworth.

The player said he was abused "tens of tens if not 100" times by Bennell mainly in his fl at above a video shop.

He said he remembered the complainant was "nice looking", but said he was not one of the boys he had abused.

"I would look out for lads that were possible victims", Bennell told the police.

The seven offences Bennell has admitted relate to three victims and happened between 1981 and 1991, when they were aged between 11 and 14.

The trial, which is expected to last eight weeks, continues on Thursday.

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