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10th Jan 2022

Manchester City can’t be held responsible for Barry Bennell abuse, court rules

Reuben Pinder

Image credit: Getty / BBC

Bennell is serving a 36-year jail sentence

Manchester City cannot be held responsible for the abuse Barry Bennell inflicted on eight men between 1979-1985, a court has ruled.

Bennell is currently serving a 36-year jail sentence for sex crimes against 22 boys, and was described as ‘the devil incarnate’ by a judge in 2018.

The claimants, now in their 40s and 50s, say Bennell abused them between the years of 1979-1985, when he was a scout for Manchester City.

The eight men claim the paedophile’s relationship with Man City at the time was “one of employment or one akin to employment”.

They argued, therefore, that Man City were liable for the abuse they suffered at the hands of Bennell.

Representatives of Man City, however, argued that Bennell was a local scout for the club in the mid-1970s, but not between the aforementioned period between ’79 and ’85.

Bennell, while denying being linked to the club during the 1980s, admitted to the judge that he had “used and exploited” his previous connections to City “for his own benefit”.