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Julia Quenzler

Ex-football coach Barry Bennell has been jailed for 31 years at Liverpool Crown Court for 50 counts of child sexual abuse.

Bennell, described as the “devil incarnate” by the judge, was convicted of abusing 12 boys aged eight to 15 between 1979 and 1991.

Sentencing at Liverpool Crown Court, Judge Clement Goldstone QC said Bennell, 64, was “sheer evil”.

There was clapping from the public gallery as Bennell left court.

Bennell shook his head as the judge sentenced him.

“To those boys you appeared as a god… in reality you were the devil incarnate,” Judge Goldstone said.

“You stole their childhoods and their innocence.”

The judge said Bennell was “hell bent” on abusing boys, and left a “trail of psychological devastation”.

“If the boys tried to resist you convinced them their football careers would suffer,” he said.