Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Prosecution: English soccer coach persistently abused boys

Prosecution: English soccer coach persistently abused boys

Mr Johnson said some of the abuse took place at the ground of Crewe Alexandra and when the football club was on tour, while numerous incidents also took place at his home addresses.

He added: "Every boy just dreamed of being a footballer".

He said Mr Bennell raped him "about half a dozen times" during that time.

The horror films, Unsworth said, worked for Bennell because "you'd be frightened and probably move up close to him so he could hug you. He had a big power hold over us with that, which was pretty horrific".

Bennell also called some of the claims against him "ridiculous" and said he'd never do some of the things alleged while there were other boys in the bed at the same time.

He described being abused "tens of tens, if not 100" times by Bennell.

He said: "I had a victim; I didn't need two or three or four".

Asked why he had not told anyone else, he said: 'One, they wouldn't believe you and two, I'm going to jeopardise where I want to go as a professional footballer'.

He said Mr Bennell's interest in him eventually "fizzled out", adding: "As soon as you started turning up with pubic hair you were past your sell-by date and you were gone".

Bennell, described by the prosecution as a "devious paedophile", has admitted seven charges of sexually abusing three boys but pleaded not guilty to a further 48 counts relating to 11 alleged victims from 1979 to 1991. "I want to make it, I want to be a footballer, I want to play for City".

There was an "untold rule" between boys not to report abuse, he told the jury.

The boys were also allegedly abused during a youth squad trip to a Butlins holiday camp in North Wales, jurors heard.

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".

After a short recess the jury was shown a television interview in which former footballer Andy Woodward broke his silence about being abused.

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.

Defending Mr Bennell, Eleanor Laws QC, questioned whether Mr Unsworth had discussed seeking financial compensation with a solicitor or other alleged victims.

He said he remembered the complainant was "nice looking", but said he was not one of the boys he had abused.

He also described a "grooming process" where he would play fight with the boys and give them "treats".

The trial, which is in its first week, is expected to last two months.

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