Ex-youth footballer: Barry Bennell trial about justice, not compensation

A former youth footballer who claims he was raped and indecently assaulted by his coach Barry Bennell has told a jury in England he came forward to get justice and not compensation.

Chris Unsworth, 45, says Bennell, 64, preyed on him after he was scouted for Manchester City as a junior and the abuse began "straight away" after the defendant started giving him lifts to the club's then Platt Lane training ground.

Unsworth previously waived his anonymity when he appeared on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire Show in November 2016 to discuss his alleged abuse.

Today, he was the second of 11 complainants who will enter the witness box at Liverpool Crown Court to say they were victims of "devious paedophile" Bennell.

Mr Unsworth said the abuse started in the car with a game devised by Bennell called Follow Me - which the defendant is said to have engineered with other complainants.

He said: "He would move his hands around your body on the outside of your clothes, tickle you, and you would have to do the same to him."

Ex-Manchester City youth player Chris Unsworth arriving at Liverpool Crown Court to give evidence in the trial of former football coach Barry Bennell.

But, he said, the game would keep going until his hands were "inside your shirt or inside your underpants" and it happened regularly, if not every time Bennell gave him a lift.

Abuse also took place at Bennell's then home in the Peak District, the complainant said, which contained a pool table, a fruit machine, a jukebox and sports equipment "everywhere", the court heard.

Once again he alleged Follow Me would initiate sexual activity and Bennell would allegedly often end up in bed in the middle of two boys.

He said: "You would always do what he said. You was hoping he would not ask you."

He alleged that sexual activity escalated and eventually led to Bennell raping him "about half a dozen times".

"The first time I will never forget it," he said. "I was just crying, the pain. It felt like it went on for hours but it was probably two or three minutes."

He said sexual contact with Bennell diminished as he hit puberty and it ended when he walked away from football after thinking he had "had enough".

Ex-Manchester City youth player Chris Unsworth arriving at Liverpool Crown Court to give evidence in the trial of former football coach Barry Bennell.

The court heard he was also allegedly abused on trips to Wales with Bennell.

He described staying in a "haunted house" with other boys where he said the coach would put on horror films for them to watch.

He said: "That was his scene, he would try and scare the lads."

He added: "I can recall one time being in a dormitory which was full of bunk beds and somebody waking up with a sheep's or ram's head on their bunk bed or actually in their sleeping bag. Everybody was petrified."

But he said none of the boys spoke to each other about the alleged abuse.

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."

Cross-examined by Eleanor Laws QC, defending, Mr Unsworth denied discussing possible financial compensation with a solicitor or other alleged victims.

He said: "This is not about compensation, this is about justice."

Mr Unsworth, who was also coached by Bennell at Crewe Alexandra, said the only times he had spoken about the details of the alleged abuse was on the Victoria Derbyshire Show, to the police and today in the courtroom.

Ms Laws put it to the complainant: "I am going to suggest that you were not sexually abused at all by Barry Bennell, do you agree or disagree?"

The complainant replied: "I disagree."

Bennell, who is appearing in court via video-link due to illness, denies 48 counts of historical child sex abuse between 1979 and 1990.

Barry Bennell appearing in court via video-link.

Jurors have heard Bennell is a convicted sex offender who has served prison sentences in the UK and the United States.

He has pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault related to his current trial.

The trial continues on Monday.

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