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HomeUK NewsBarry Bennell victim secures five-figure sum from ex-Butlin's owners

Barry Bennell victim secures five-figure sum from ex-Butlin’s owners

A victim of one of Britain’s “most notorious paedophiles” has secured a five-figure settlement from the former owners of Butlin’s after the football coach groomed him while working at the holiday park.

David Lean was 11 when he met the former Crewe Alexandra coach during a visit to the resort in Pwllheli, northwest Wales, in 1979.

Mr Lean, now 53, said Bennell “worked his charm” on him and his father and they exchanged addresses and became pen pals, returning for another trip later in the year.

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Bennell sexually abused Mr Lean during a two-night stay at his home for an FA-endorsed training session.

Mr Lean said: “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.”

Bennell is serving 34 years in prison after being found guilty in 2018 of a string of child sexual offences carried out between 1979 and 1991.

A civil case was brought on behalf of Mr Lean by law firm Slater and Gordon 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.”

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 spokesman for Hard Rock Cafe (Edinburgh) Limited declined to comment on the settlement.

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