Floodlights: where is Barry Bennell now?

The disgraced former coach is serving a 34-year prison sentence

BBC Two's upcoming one-off show Floodlights looks at the experiences of Andy Woodward, a former professional footballer who went public about his former youth coach Barry Bennell's sexual abuse back in 2016, which led to hundreds of men sharing their own stories of assault in the football industry. But where is the convicted sex offender Barry Bennell now?

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The former football coach, who has since changed his name to Richard Jones, is serving a 34-year jail sentence for his multiple offences against the young players he coached between 1979 and 1991. In February 2018, he was found guilty of 43 counts of incident and serious sexual assault offences.

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WATCH: Floodlights tells the impactful and important story of Andy Woodward

He then received an additional four years in prison back in 2021 over several counts of sexual assault in his fifth court case. His sentencing means that he won't be eligible for release until he is in his late 80s.

During the most recent court case, it was revealed that Bennell had been injured in a prison attack and was in remission from cancer. Upon sentencing, Judge Patrick Thompson told him: "These were children whose parents trusted and respected you, when you were in fact a parent's worst nightmare.

Jonas Armstrong will portray him in the BBC Two show

"That, I'm afraid, is your legacy and changing your name will not change that. Whilst the complainants may not have achieved their dreams of becoming sporting heroes, they are heroes nonetheless."

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In 2018, Judge Clement Goldstone said: "Your behaviour was sheer evil. You were hellbent on abusing boys. You appeared as a God to those boys but in reality you were the Devil incarnate. You stole their childhoods and their innocence. No sentence that I can pass would begin to address the harm and damage you have done to your victims."

Abuse victims of Barry Bennell embrace outside court in 2018

Robin Hood actor Jonas Armstrong is set to portray Bennell in the upcoming one-off episode, and spoke about his discomfort in the role. Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire about the role, he said: "It kind of made me feel a bit sick, having to play some of these scenes out,’ he replied, explaining how the whole cast and crew were made to ‘feel comfortable’ on set.

"Also, as well, getting into the mind of somebody that’s capable of doing that. It’s not a pleasant… it wasn’t a pleasant place to be. So that was why I had that initial response."

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