Victim of paedophile Barry Bennell ‘glad’ to hear of his death in prison

Barry Bennell has died in prison (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

A victim of paedophile Barry Bennell says he hopes his final 10 years were ‘as difficult as possible’.

Bennell, 69, died at HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire on Saturday. He was serving a 34-year sentence for more than 50 child sex offences.

He worked as a football coach for Crewe Alexandra, and abused boys he’d coached in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

David Lean, who was abused by Bennell after meeting him at Butlin’s holiday park in Pwllheli, North Wales, said he was ‘glad’ to hear of his death.

He said: ‘It’s sort of happened in the way I wanted it to happen because I wanted him to go to prison for a period of time.

‘I just hope that last 10 years has been as difficult as possible.

‘I appreciate he’s got children – and ultimately my thoughts are with his children today – but my thoughts are also with the many survivors because of the pain he has put everybody through.’

The Offside Trust, set up by survivors of child sexual abuse in sport, including some ex-footballers abused by Bennell, said it was aware of news of his death.

Barry Bennell appeared in court via video link in 2021 (Picture: PA)

He worked as a youth coach for Crewe Alexandra (Picture: BBC)

A spokesman said: ‘We are thinking of all the brave survivors, those who felt they could speak out, and those who still cannot.

‘We at the Offside Trust understand the issues this may trigger for survivors and are here for everyone should they need us. Please don’t suffer in silence.’

Bennell was jailed for 30 years in 2018 after being convicted of 50 child sex offences against 12 boys.

He was given another 4 years in 2020 after admitting nine more offences against two boys.

Bennell had cancer for a number of years, and previously had operations to remove tumours in 2004 and 2016.

He was thought to be in remission in 2020 and his cause of death is not yet known.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: ‘Prisoner Barry Bennell died at HMP Littlehey on September 16.

‘As with all deaths in custody, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will investigate.’

He was found guilty of more than 50 child sex offences (Picture: PA)

In court during his 2018 trial, Bennell’s victims said 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 then-ground Maine Road, where he worked as a scout.

He abused the boys at his homes, where he had arcade games and exotic pets, including a puma and monkey, but also on trips away and in his car while on the way to and from training.

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