Evidence from pedophile football coach Barry Bennell has been heard for the first time at the district court.
Excerpts from a testimony given to lawyers who acted on behalf of Manchester City from the prison of the serial child sex offender were mentioned on Tuesday as the club faces compensation claims from eight men who say Bennell abused them while he was in a relationship with City it was “related to employment”.
City disputes the claims of the group, now in their 40s and 50s, which cover the period 1979 to 1985.
Evidence from pedophile Barry Bennell has been heard for the first time at the High Court
Barry Bennell is currently serving a 34-year sentence for child abuse in Littlehey Prison
Later this month, Bennell, 67, and previously described by a judge as ‘pure evil’ and ‘the devil incarnate’, will appear via video link from Littlehey Prison, Cambridgeshire, where he is serving a 34-year sentence.
But he has already provided City’s lawyers with information that was heard for the first time.
Speaking about video footage of young people playing at Platt Lane, City’s former training ground where he was involved, Bennell said he was asked by the club’s then chief scout, Ken Barnes, ‘to step in and train one of the teams who played ‘.
He added: ‘To my amusement, the TV report made me head coach or head coach, when in fact I was just doing Ken a favor on the day.’ These allegations were disputed by former city scout Ray Hinett, who testified on behalf of the eight plaintiffs.
“I do not believe Barry Bennell is telling the truth when he says he was simply doing Ken a favor on the day,” he said in his statement. “These matches were always arranged in advance, and Bennell was involved in them on a regular basis … it was clear to see the close cooperation that Bennell had with Barnes.”
Sir. Hinett, 80, also claimed that Bennell ‘had some influence’ over Barnes and that he (Bennell) ‘used this to influence the boys’. In his statement, Hinett added: ‘I had the impression that Bennell’s opinion was highly valued by Ken Barnes. If Bennell suggested that a boy was a decent prospect, then it was almost certain that Manchester City would offer accompanying schoolboy forms. ‘