football

Manchester City cannot be held responsible for Barry Bennell abuse, court rules


Manchester City cannot be held responsible for the abuse suffered by eight men at the hands of the paedophile Barry Bennell more than 30 years ago, a high court judge has ruled.

The claimants, now in their 40s and 50s, say Bennell, now 68, abused them when they were playing schoolboy football for teams he coached in north-west England between 1979 and 1985.

Bennell was a scout for City during that time and the eight men argued the relationship between Bennell and City was “one of employment or one akin to employment”.

The men had argued that City were vicariously liable for the abuse.

City bosses denied that claim, saying Bennell was a local City scout in the mid-1970s but not between 1979 and 1985.

Bennell, who is in jail after being convicted on five separate occasions of child sex offences against 22 boys, also denied being linked to Manchester City during the 1980s but told the judge he had “always used and exploited” his previous connections with City for his “own benefit”.



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