Barry Bennell victim wins settlement from ex-north Wales holiday park owners

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Barry Bennell is serving a 34-year prison sentence for multiple sexual offences against young boys. Credit: PA Images

A victim of paedophile Barry Bennell has secured a five-figure settlement from the previous owners of Butlin's.

David Lean was groomed while the former football coach was working at a north Wales holiday park.

Mr Lean encountered the former Crewe Alexandra coach on a visit to the company's resort in Pwllheli in 1979. He was 11 at the time.

He said Bennell "worked his charm" on him and his father, leading to them exchanging addresses, becoming pen pals and returning for another trip later in the year.

Bennell, now serving a 34-year prison sentence after being convicted of sexual offences against young boys, invited Mr Lean to stay at his home for two nights to attend an FA-endorsed training session.

While staying at his house, Mr Lean was sexually abused by the coach.

A civil case was brought against Hard Rock Cafe (Edinburgh) Limited, formerly known as Butlin's Limited, which alleged the company was vicariously responsible for the abuse.

Mr Lean said: "I have fought for many years to seek justice for what happened to me as a child by that monster.

"It also became extremely important to me to ensure that all those who had a part to play in making it possible for Bennell to perpetrate his abuse on young boys should also be held to account.

"Lessons must be learnt to prevent the abuse of further generations; nobody should have the right to turn a blind eye and not face the consequences.

"While my sexual abuse never took place at Butlin's, they gave my abuser the gateway to groom both myself and my parents into later access of me when I was abused. "

Kim Harrison, lead lawyer for Mr Lean, said she was "delighted" to have secured a five-figure settlement for him.

She said: "Barry Bennell was a prolific paedophile who used his position at Butlin's to groom and then go on to abuse our client."

A spokesperson for Hard Rock declined to comment on the settlement.