ABUSE CLAIMS FOOTIE COACH ‘PINNED WITNESS TO WALL LIKE DARTH VADER’
A FOOTBALL coach pinned a schoolboy to the wall in Crewe Alexandra’s changing rooms with a “Darth Vader grip” after he interrupted him fondling another youngster, a jury has heard.
The witness told Barry Bennell’s sex abuse trial the defendant then threatened he would ruin his football career if he told anyone what he had seen.
Liverpool Crown Court heard the witness gave his account of the alleged incident in the 1980s to police after reading reports about Bennell in 2016.
Giving evidence yesterday, the then Crewe youth team player recalled that he rushed back to the club’s Gresty Road ground from the nearby railway station after he realised he was missing one of his football boots.
He told the court as he entered the changing room, he saw a young boy half-dressed, sitting on Bennell’s knee.
The witness recalled seeing Bennell’s left arm around the youngster in a “cuddling fashion” and Bennell was fondling him down his football shorts.
He said: “Barry was startled to see me come back. He got up and shouted at me, ‘What the f**k are you doing?’
“At that point he jumped up, stormed at me and pinned me to the wall.
“If you can imagine Star Wars and Darth Vader…it was like a Darth Vader grip.”
He said the young boy ran out of the changing room and Bennell ( left) told him: “You have not seen anything.
“If you say anything to anyone I will make sure I finish your football career here and now.”
The witness said that from then on Bennell had a “psychological hold” over him.
The young boy the witness claimed Bennell had fondled is one of 11 complainants aged from eight to 14 who say they were abused by Bennell, 64, between 1979 and 1990.
Bennell denies indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery.
The trial continues.