Victims of Barry Bennell may not be allowed to testify

Barry Bennell, a former football coach at Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra, has been found guilty of 50 counts of sexual abuse against 12 victims. On Monday, he was sentenced to 31 years in prison. However, up to 86 other victims may never be able to testify against Bennell, if it is decided that a further trial would not be in the public interest. Detectives are continuing to investigate complaints in order that the most serious allegations may form part of a second trial; however, for any future trial to proceed, it would need to be determined by Crown Prosecution Service lawyers to be in the public interest.

We believe that Bennell’s victims deserve the chance to have their voices heard in a court of law. The scope of the abuse Bennell committed is unimaginable, and all who suffered at his hands deserve an equal chance to ensure he receives justice. In addition, ensuring that Bennell is convicted for each and every assault he has committed will allow victims to regain control over their past by seeking compensation for the psychiatric harm these assaults have caused, either by applying to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and/or pursuing a claim in civil court.