Football Coach Barry Bennell Dies in Prison, Barry Bennell Age, Bio, Wife

The serial paedophile Barry Bennell, who abused boys as a football coach, has died in prison aged 69, the Ministry of Justice said.

Bennell died of cancer at the age of 69 on Saturday morning while serving combined prison sentences at HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire for more than 50 offences against 22 boys while coaching them in the 1980s and 1990s.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “Prisoner Barry Bennell died at HMP Littlehey on 16 September 2023. As with all deaths in custody, the prisons and probation ombudsman will investigate.”

Bennell’s first conviction was in Florida for an offence he carried out while on tour with a Staffordshire youth team and he served four years in prison for four counts of indecent assault on a 13-year-old boy.

He was then deported to stand trial for attacks that took place in the UK after a Channel 4 Dispatches investigation.

In June 1998 he pleaded guilty at Chester crown court to 23 counts of sexual abuse of 15 boys aged between nine and 14, between 1978 and 1992. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

In 2016, a former professional footballer, Andy Woodward, told the Guardian he had been a victim of Bennell, with other former players following suit.

Bennell, also known as Richard Jones, was further jailed for 30 years in 2018 after being convicted of 52 child sexual offences against 12 boys.

Sentencing him, the judge at Liverpool crown court said: “To those boys you appeared as a god … in reality you were the devil incarnate. You stole their childhoods and their innocence.”

He was ordered to serve an additional four years in 2020 after pleading guilty to other offences against two boys.

When he was sentenced in 2018, the recorder of Liverpool, Judge Goldstone QC, said he “may well die in prison”. His final prison sentence, in 2020, was the fifth time he had been jailed.

At that hearing, the court was told he had a detached retina after being attacked in prison and was in remission from cancer.

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