The People - - News Features -

David’s case and told po­lice their sto­ries. Ben­nell was convicted of abus­ing 12 vic­tims last Fe­bru­ary.

Gary, 48, got in touch with David to hail him as an “in­spi­ra­tion”.

David, who works for am­a­teur side AFC Fylde, con­tacted po­lice af­ter last year’s trial and was fi­nally told of the con­fes­sion. When he de­manded an­swers, of­fi­cers con­firmed a de­ci­sion was made not to con­tact the boys.

David was told: “Those who were ‘ad­mit­ted’ to had not been re­vis­ited af­ter that in­ter­view… whether or not to do so was an in­di­vid­ual se­nior in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer de­ci­sion.” The in­ter­view tran­script was stored but an of­fi­cer prob­ing David’s case “did not ap­pre­ci­ate its rel­e­vance”.

Cheshire Po­lice ac­cepted “this ma­te­rial was in its pos­ses­sion and these boys could and should have been con­tacted in 2013”.

David, train­ing as a coun­sel­lor to help other abuse vic­tims, said: “I fear there are a lot of peo­ple who have been abused by Ben­nell who will not get jus­tice. And I can’t help but won­der wo de if he e cou could d have av got a 30-year sen­tence much ear ear­lier.

“In­stead, he w was free while peo­ple like me lived with the hell of what he did to us.”

David is run­ning run Pur­ple Sum­mer on June Ju 14, to help raise aw aware­ness of all fo forms of child

ab abuse.

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