Convicted sex offender and former football coach Barry Bennell has lost an appeal against his 30 year conviction for multiple offences against children.

The Court of Appeal rejected his appeal for a shorter sentence on the basis that his sentence was not “manifestly excessive or wrong in principle”.

The basis of Bennell’s appeal was multifaceted, alleging that the overall sentence was excessive, that elements of it had been miscalculated and that some evidence had caused the trial judge to be “unduly influenced”. A written argument also referred to what was described as the “florid press and media attention”.

Bennell, who lodged his appeal under a new name of Richard Jones, appeared by video link. Lady Justice Hallett informed Bennell that his ‘offences were so serious, the timescale so extended, the aggravating factors so numerous and the mitigation so limited that it would be wrong for this court to interfere with the sentence.” She also commented upon the lasting impact on his victims and noted that many had suffered throughout their lives with depression, alcoholism and suicidal thoughts.

Bennell was imprisoned in February 2018 after he was found guilty of 52 offences committed against a dozen boys between 1979 and 1991. The Court heard he committed “industrial scale” levels of abuse against children in his care.

Gary Cliffe, the former Manchester City youth player who waived his right to anonymity earlier this year to speak publicly about the abuse he had suffered, said after the sentencing that many other victims would be hoping the way was now open for them to seek justice.

 

Jordans Solicitors represent victims who have suffered abuse whilst participating in sporting activities and are currently representing victims of Barry Bennell. Where a person abuses their position of trust and commits an act of assault a claim may be possible. We would encourage anyone affected to report their allegations to the Police and contact Jordans to pursue a civil claim. We can be contacted free on 033 0300 1103 or you can request a call back.


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