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Ex-football coach Barry Bennell jailed for 31 years

Former football coach Barry Bennell is sentenced to 31 years in prison for 50 counts of child sexual abuse.

Former football coach Barry Bennell has been sentenced to 31 years in prison for 50 counts of child sexual abuse.

Bennell was convicted of abusing 12 boys aged eight to 15 between 1979 and 1991.

Judge Clement Goldstone QC sentenced Bennell at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday afternoon, and according to various sources, there was clapping from the public gallery as the ex-coach departed.

"To those boys you appeared as a god... in reality you were the devil incarnate. You stole their childhood and their innocence to satisfy your own perversions," Goldstone is quoted as saying.

The 64-year-old worked at Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra during his coaching career, and had previously been convicted of child abuse on three occasions, which brought jail sentences in the UK and in the United States.

Wednesday proved to be the first time that Bennell had been in the court, having previously appeared via video-link during his five-week trial due to an illness.

Bennell has been sentenced to 15 years in custody with the rest of the term on licence.

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