Former football coach Barry Bennell has been sentenced to 31 years in prison for 50 counts of child sex abuse.

Bennell, 64, was convicted of raping and molesting 12 boys aged eight to 15 between 1979 and 1991.

Judge Clement Goldstone QC described Bennell as "sheer evil" as he handed down the verdict.

"To those boys you appeared as a god... in reality you were the devil incarnate. You stole their childhood and their innocence to satisfy your own perversions," he said.

The judge said that Bennell had left a "trail of psychological devastation", with victims crying "yes" as the sentence was read out.

Victims told the court they had suffered from anxiety, depression, panic attacks and PTSD as a result of the abuse.

"I did not want it, did not ask for it and did not enjoy it. I was a child, and between the ages of 10 to 13 that monster decided it was fun for him to use me as a sex toy, someone that he could get his kicks from," one victim told the court.

"He took my innocence, my virginity and my football career. He preyed on his victims, groomed us while grooming our parents," he said.

"Even though it's over it's not over because it will always be in my head. No one should have to go through what that man put us through," another victim said.

The prosecution described Bennell, who watched from the docks as his victims read out impact statements, as an "industrial-scale child molester" and a "predatory and determined paedophile."

It was the first time Bennell appeared in front of his victims as he made his appearance via video-link throughout the rest of his five-week trial.

Barry Bennell
Barry Bennell was described by the prosecution as a “predatory and determined paedophile." BBC