Mon. Nov 29th, 2021

Ian Ackley, now 53, had also played for the non-league Cheadle Town and Rochdale as a youngster, but had failed to fulfill the promise he had shown and walked away from football, Mr. Justice Johnson

Ian Ackley victim after victim of pedophile football scout Barry Bennell COLLECT PICTURE SHOWS Barry Bennell IN THE BACKGROUND

One of eight men suing Manchester City after complaining of being abused by former pedophile scout Barry Bennell had been an excellent schoolboy who attracted the interest of Manchester United, Aston Villa and Sheffield United, a Supreme Court judge has heard .

Ian Ackley, now 53, had also played for the non-league Cheadle Town and Rochdale as a youngster, but had failed to fulfill the promise he had shown and walked away from football, Mr. Justice Johnson.

He told the judge that Bennell’s abuse had made him “emotionally crippled”, It reports the Press Association.

Justice Johnson had ruled that none of the men making claims against City could be identified in media reports on the case.

But he eased that order on Wednesday, saying Mr Ackley, who was born in Glossop, Derbyshire, could be named after a challenge from journalists.

The city disputes allegations made by the men.



Pedophile football coach Barry Bennell is serving 34 years behind bars
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Picture:

BBC)




Justice Johnson has heard that Bennell, who worked as a coach at Crewe Alexandra, is serving a 34-year prison sentence after being convicted of sexual crimes against boys on five separate occasions, four in the UK and one in the US, and is being held in Littlehey Prison near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

He has been told that the eight men were sexually and emotionally abused by Bennell between 1979 and 1985 and is demanding compensation after suffering psychiatric injuries.

Six also claim compensation for loss of potential football revenue, Mr Ackley demanding almost £ 230,000.

The eight men, now in their 40s and 50s, say Bennell abused them when they played youth football in the north-west of England more than 30 years ago.

They say Bennell was working as a Manchester City scout at the time. The city bosses disagree.

Lawyers representing the club say Bennell was a “local scout” in the mid-1970s but did not have a role in the 1980s.

City denies that Bennell was employed or in a relationship “related to employment” at “the material times” and refuses to be surrogate.

The referee has heard how the club had set up a compensation scheme more than four years ago. Sir. Ackley told the judge he had not participated in the compensation scheme.

“I did not agree with the terms and conditions they had,” he said. “They did not negotiate, they dictated. They said to us, ‘this is the road or the highway.'”

He added: “They have done nothing in my case to resolve things.”



Ian Ackley, victim of pedophile football coach Barry Bennell
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Picture:

DAILY MIRROR)




Sir. Ackley remembered the first meeting with Bennell in the early 1980s when he was a schoolboy.

Bennell had approached Mr Ackley’s father and carried a blue card describing himself as Manchester City’s ‘north-west representative’, Mr Ackley said.

Sir. Ackley said he subsequently trained at Manchester City’s training ground.

“Bennell would walk through the doors, no problem,” Mr. Justice Johnson heard. “Everyone knew him.”

Sir. Ackley added: “He definitely had a role in Manchester City.”

He continued: “He ran, trained and scouted for them, their teams and their players.”



Ian Ackley victim after victim of pedophile football scout Barry Bennell




A lawyer representing the eight men told the referee that all as boys had been “pronounced for their excellence” and were heading, with “excellence”, towards a future as a professional footballer

James Counsell QC said Mr Ackley had played for a junior team called White Knowl, which Bennell coached. He said Mr Ackley had been abused for three years.

Mr. Counsell said Mr Ackley had attracted Sheffield United’s interest “as early as the age of eight” and had “an offer” from Aston Villa.

He said Mr Ackley had played for Cheadle Town, for Manchester United’s youth team, and briefly been to Rochdale before going “out and away” from football.







Mr. Counsell told the referee: “The three years of abuse from Bennell took a huge toll on him psychologically and not surprisingly he became dissatisfied with football.”

Journalists claimed that Mr Ackley had previously discussed the abuse he was subjected to at the hands of Bennell in a television program and had been named.

They argued that it was therefore illogical to prevent journalists from mentioning him in reports on the case – and said it was difficult to report evidence without giving a hint of Mr Ackley’s identity.

Justice Johnson said journalists could name Mr Ackley and report the contents of evidence he had given in court on Tuesday.

Sir. Ackley had not discussed any details of the abuse he was subjected to when answering lawyers’ questions.

Sir. Ackley told the referee that Bennell took him to City’s training ground, on Platt Lane, on a “regular basis” to train with “junior set-ups” in the early 1980s.

He said White Knowl trophies were displayed in the office of Ken Barnes, then chief scout of Manchester City, at City’s Maine Road stadium.

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