Paedophile ex-football coach Barry Bennell dies in prison

Barry Bennell, the paedophile football coach who carried out one of the sport’s worst abuse scandals, has died in prison.

The disgraced former football coach died whilst serving his 34-year sentence for wicked child offences. Bennell, who had cancer, passed away in HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire last weekend.

Paedophile ex-football coach Barry Bennell dies in prison
Paedophile ex-football coach Barry Bennell. Source: Getty

A Prison Service spokesperson said on Monday, September 18;

“Prisoner Barry Bennell died at HMP Littlehey on 16 September 2023. As with all deaths in custody, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will investigate.”

During various trials over the past six years, Bennell, who worked for a string of clubs including Stoke City, Crewe Alexandra and Manchester City, was described as a “child molester on an industrial scale”, who used the promise of making children football stars to groom them and then stop them speaking out.

Abuse campaigners say he is believed to have raped and assaulted at least 115 young boys in his care. Bennell abused the boys at his homes, where he had installed arcade games and kept exotic pets, including a puma and a monkey, but also on trips away and in his car to and from training.

Paedophile ex-football coach Barry Bennell dies in prison
Barry Bennell during his abuse trial. Source: Getty

Bennell was first jailed in Florida in 1994 for raping a British boy on a football tour in America, before going on to face prison sentences in the UK in 1998, 2015, 2018 and 2020.

In February 2018, Bennell was jailed for 30 years after being convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of 50 child sexual offences committed against 12 boys he coached between 1979 and 1991. The ex-Crewe Alexandra coach and Manchester City scout was handed 30 years behind bars.

In 2020, his jail term was increased to a total of 34 years as he pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court to three further counts of buggery and six counts of indecent assault against two boys.