Eight men sue Man City over Barry Bennell sex abuse

Barry Bennell

Ex-football coach and convicted paedophile Barry Bennell could give evidence at a High Court trial after eight victims sued one of his former clubs for damages, a judge has been told.

Eight men have sued Manchester City after being abused by Bennell, who is now aged in his 60s, more than three decades ago.

Mr Justice Cavanagh, who is based in London, is overseeing a preliminary High Court hearing online.

Manchester City denied being "vicariously liable" for abuse committed by Bennell, the judge heard.

A barrister representing the men, who are now in their 40s and 50s, told the judge on Thursday that they wanted damages for "personal injury, loss and damage" caused by abuse committed by Bennell when they were aged between about eight and 16.

James Counsell QC said the men claimed that Bennell was working for Manchester City when they were abused.

Barry Bennell

He said Bennell had worked as a Manchester City scout and coached and managed "feeder teams" for which the men had played, when they were boys.

The men said they were playing for teams coached by Bennell between 1979 and 1985.

The barrister said Manchester City denied being "vicariously liable" for the abuse committed by Bennell.

Mr Counsell said a trial was listed to start on October 25.

He said Manchester City had "apparently taken the extraordinary decision" to call Bennell as a witness.

Mr Counsell told the judge that Bennell had been convicted, on five separate occasions, of sexual offences on young boys and was currently serving a 34-year prison sentence.