Disgraced Gogglebox star Andrew Bennett ‘exploited his celebrity status’ to carry out sex attack on teen, say NSPCC

A former Gogglebox star from Sunderland ‘exploited his celebrity status’ when carrying out a sex attack on a teenage boy, the NSPCC have said.

By Echo Reporter
Friday, 13th May 2022, 11:10 am

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Ex TV sensation Andrew Bennett cornered the lad at a house and subjected him to a shocking attack that left him "in tears" and suffering flashbacks.

The 47-year-old, who starred in series 12 of the Channel 4 hit show, had taken "selfies" with the victim then cornered him on a sofa and put his hands down his pants, gave him a love-bite and tried to lure him to a bedroom for a sex act.

Bennett, of Gleneagles Road, Sunderland, initially denied all charges and blamed his sickening behaviour on "slimming drugs".

Andrew Bennett pictured outside of Newcastle Crown Court.

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But after DNA linked him to the boy, Bennett later admitted one charge of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and two of sexual activity with a child.

Bennett now has to sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

After the sentecing, a spokesperson for the NSPCC said: “Bennett exploited his celebrity status and the admiration this teenage boy had for him to sexually abuse him.

“Childhood abuse can have devastating effects on young people which can last a lifetime, but we hope this victim is now receiving all the support he needs and can take some solace knowing his courage in speaking out has ensured Bennett has faced justice.

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"We would urge anyone who has experienced abuse and is suffering, no matter when it happened or who the perpetrator is, to speak out and seek support.”

The victim said: "I looked up to Andrew. I was interested in what he did. I am aware he was on Gogglebox a while ago.

"What happened in that few hours will be with me for a very long time.

"I felt frightened and very uncomfortable. I didn't know what to do."

Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111. Adults with concerns about a child or who wish to discuss non-recent abuse can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 8005000 or email [email protected]