Court hears Barry Bennell 'systematically abused boys'

Enda Brady has been following developments of Barry Bennell's trial at Liverpool Crown Court

The boy, who met Bennell when he attended a football training session in his role as a Manchester City scout, said he and his fellow footballers had an untold rule not to reveal what the coach was doing.

"It was nearly like an untold rule, like 'shut up, '" the complainant said. "It was panpipe music".

Bennell was also alleged to have put bank notes in his briefs to entice boys.

The player, who can not be named for legal reasons, said Bennell made young stars feel special.

He went on to explain how none of the boys who were allegedly being abused by Bennell would talk to each other about their experiences.

The defendant even described some of the testimony of the first alleged victim as "impossible", saying he "would never do something like that".

Bennell, who turned 64 on Wednesday, denies 48 child sex offenses against 11 complainants between 1979 and 1990.

Read our live blog of today's proceedings below.

"We didn't want to spoil our chances: "I want to make it, I want to be a footballer, I want to play for City", he told the court.

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

Bennell entered the pleas when he appeared via videolink.

Complainants also alleged being abused in his vehicle on the way to and from training and on football tours.

He said: "I always said to myself one day I will do this but I didn't want to upset my parents".

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".

He added: "At the time I was probably sick of getting abused as well, I'd probably had enough. It was only for that I was going to do it".

Unsworth chose to come forward after seeing the former Crewe Alexandra player Andy Woodward on television in the week after he had told the Guardian about being abused by Bennell.

Cross-examined by Eleanor Laws QC, defending, Mr Unsworth denied discussing possible financial compensation with a solicitor or other alleged victims.

"That was his scene, he would try and scare the lads", he told the court.

His home, where he would invite boys to stay over, was described by one complainant as a "paradise" for young boys with a pool table, fruit machine, big TVs and unusual pets, which the court heard included a wild cat and a monkey.

Bennell has admitted seven offences of indecent assault and the court has heard he has previously been convicted in England and America for child sex abuse.

The trial, which is in its first week, is expected to last two months.



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