Paedophile football coach Barry Bennell has been convicted of sexually abusing 11 young players – some of whom said they were molested more than 100 times.
But it can now reported to total number of boys he abused could top 100 after 86 others came forward to make allegations against him.
Bennell – once described as the ‘Jimmy Savile of football’ – carried out sex attacks on youngsters at his lavish home, at a Butlin’s holiday park, in his car and on football tours.
Paedophile coach Barry Bennell has been found guilty of abusing 11 young football hopefuls
After being convicted of 36 child sex charges earlier this week, a jury at Liverpool Crown Court today found him guilty of seven more charges. He had pleaded guilty to seven additional counts before the trial.
A cheer of ‘yes’ came from the public gallery where six complainants sat with family members as the final verdicts were read out and some people were in tears.
Bennell, who appeared via videolink from prison, could be seen shaking his head at times and muttering when the guilty verdicts were returned.
Bennell, who worked with Crewe Alexandra, Stoke City and Manchester City in the 1980s and 90s, has previously received three jail sentences for similar offences.
The investigation into Bennell was the largest of its kind ever carried out by Cheshire Police.
The force’s Detective Inspector Sarah Oliver said: ‘We have interviewed nearly 2,000 people in relation to this investigation since November 2016, we’ve taken over 500 statements, we’ve interviewed Barry Bennell 30 times.’
Bennell has previously been jailed three times for child sex abuse in the US and Britain
The investigation is still on-going, amid fears Bennell may have scores more victims.
DI Oliver added: ‘At its peak there have been 25 detectives allocated to this investigation. We’re still running this inquiry with 10 members of staff, both detectives and police staff resources, who are working full time on this inquiry.’
During the trial, the court has heard Bennell compared to the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as he invited boys to his house where he had arcade games, a pool table, videos and exotic pets including a puma and a monkey.
In his closing speech, Nicholas Johnson QC, prosecuting, said: ‘We suggest Mr Bennell is a child molester on an industrial scale and that’s why he went to these lengths to get so many lads round to his house.’
In transcripts of police interviews which were read in court, Bennell, who has changed his name to Richard Jones, told the police about his grooming process and abuse of boys, but claimed the complainants in the case were ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ following publicity.
He chose not to appear in the witness box and no evidence was called by the defence.
Bennell took youngsters to his home, where he had installed arcade games and a pool table
One of Bennell