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Former Sunderland Gogglebox star Andrew Bennett jailed for sex attack on teenage boy

A former Gogglebox star has been put behind bars for a sex attack on a teenage boy.

By Karon Kelly
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 5:48 pm

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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 attending Newcastle Crown Court.

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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.

Judge Tim Gittins sentenced him to 29 months behind bars.

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

Judge Gittins said the love bite was a "clear injury and unwanted, painful reminder of your unwanted attentions that night" and told Bennett: "You sought to blame slimming drugs for your behaviour.

Andrew Bennett.

"I acknowledge this was an aberration in your behaviour, it was unplanned and only occurred because you were intoxicated."

Prosecutor Glenn Gatland told the court Bennett, who had been drinking, asked the lad if he and his girlfriend had had sex and put his hands down his pants.

Mr Gatland added: "He started saying he was gay and was asking (the complainant) if he was gay.

"The complainant said he was not gay.

Andrew Bennett attending Newcastle Crown Court.

"The defendant started to put his hands down his pants again then told him to turn away from him and started kissing him on the back of his neck and gave him a lovebite."

The court heard Bennett then told the victim "if he was straight he would tell him he didn't want him touching his penis".

Mr Gatland said the lad reminded Bennett he was a child and the star told him: "Stop, you are making me feel bad."

The court heard Bennett continued to pursue the boy and asked if they could go upstairs for a sexual act before the teen left "in tears".

Bennett was arrested and told police he was "appalled" he could have behaved that way and blamed it on a slimming aid.

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."

The lad said he has been left with "flashbacks" and added: "I am trying to be positive and move on, however I do think this will take some time."

The court heard Bennett has been in no trouble before or since and has been involved in charity work.

Gavin Doig, defending, said Bennett "could not be more remorseful" for what he did and handed in "multiple" references from people who speak highly of him.

Mr Doig said Bennett poses a low risk of re-offending and has "lost his good name forever", as well as his employment.