Barry Bennell died in ‘significant pain’ while serving 34-year prison sentence | Football | Sport

Barry Bennell was in ‘significant pain’ when he died in prison last September while serving a 34-year sentence, a coroner has ruled. The disgraced former football coach, who had been convicted of several child sex offences, was found dead by a prison officer conducting hourly checks at HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire.

An inquest was held in Huntingdon under the name Richard Jones after Bennell had his legally changed prior to his death. It was concluded that he died of natural causes, with coroner Elizabeth Gray saying he had a history of throat cancer from 2004 before a recurrence in 2016.

Bennell was diagnosed with cancer of the tonsils following a biopsy in early 2023 and was in palliative care at the time of his death in September. The coroner said his ‘means of communication was to write things down’ and that he was in a ‘significant amount of pain which was managed by the healthcare team at the prison’.

Last summer, Bennell was treated for chest pain before his speech began to deteriorate in late July. The coroner added that Bennell discharged himself from Hinchingbrooke Hospital against medical advice just four days before he died.


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