Former football coach Barry Bennell charged with sexual assault
By Sky News
Last Updated: 29/11/16 7:47pm
Former football coach Barry Bennell has been charged with eight offences of sexual assault against a boy under the age of 14.
The Crown Prosecution Service said it had reviewed a file of evidence from Cheshire Police relating to allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse.
Five of the charges against the 62-year-old concern the alleged indecent assault on a boy under the age of 14.
Bennell has also been charged with two counts of inciting a boy under 14 years of age to commit an act of gross indecency, and one count of assault with intent to commit buggery.
The offences are alleged to have been committed between 1981 and 1985.
A CPS spokesman said: "The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Bennell will now begin and that he has a right to a fair trial.
"It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."
Bennell is due to appear at South Cheshire Magistrates' Court on December 14.
He had worked as a football coach for Crewe Alexandra and also worked for other clubs in a freelance capacity.
Sky crime correspondent Martin Brunt said: "Barry Bennell is in custody. The circumstances of that aren't exactly clear because last night he was still in hospital in Stevenage in Hertfordshire.
"He had been taken to hospital after being found unconscious on Friday night."
The Football Association has begun a wider independent review into historical child sexual abuse in the sport after more than 20 former players came forward with allegations against several coaches.
Chairman Greg Clarke says any conclusions reached by the review will be fully disclosed and acted upon.
Seven police forces are examining non-recent allegations of sexual abuse, but no other charges have been brought against Bennell or other football coaches.