Barry Bennell trial: Coach 'abused me on way to games'

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

When interviewed about the allegations he faces, Mr Johnson said Bennellclaimed he was the victim of a "concerted effort" by people to make false allegations.

The court heard abuse would take place at Bennell's former home in the Peak District, which became known as the "haunted house".

"You sort of know when this isn't going to happen, I'm not going to be a pro-footballer".

Mr Bennell, 64, denies 48 sex offence charges involving 11 boys.

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. There, they were again encouraged to play "follow me".

One of his alleged victims said he recalled concerns being raised over the defendant's behaviour with children when they stayed over at his home but Bennell was able to provide reassurance to parents, the court heard.

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.

"I was just crying, the pain".

The complainant told the court he was not aware of the possibility of a joint action court case against Crewe Alexandra or any other organisations.

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

Being questioned by Eleanor Laws QC, representing Bennell, the victim said he had never discussed claiming monetary compensation, although he had been contacted by a solicitor about a civil claim.

"This is not about compensation, this is about justice", he replied. "You was hoping he would not ask you", he said.

He did admit that the youth footballer had stayed at his house and slept in his bed, but said he would have been too young for him to be attracted to.

The man described being abused "tens of tens, if not 100" times by Mr Bennell, over a period of about three years.

In the interview, Mr Bennell said: "I always tended to aim for the 13-year-olds because that was puberty age and they were becoming a bit more strong-willed and not tied to the apron strings".

The 63-year-old's trial started on Monday and is expected to last around eight weeks, with Bennell charged with 55 offences in total - including 42 counts of indecent assault, 11 counts of buggery and two counts of attempted buggery.

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

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