Benjamin Mendy: Footballer found not guilty of rape and sexual assault

The prosecution said it will seek a retrial on the counts the jury could not reach verdicts on

Holly Bancroft,Thomas Kingsley
Friday 13 January 2023 19:07 GMT
Manchester City Footballer Benjamin Mendy Found Not Guilty Of Sex Attacks

Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy has been found not guilty of raping women at his gated Cheshire mansion.

A jury found that Mendy was not guilty of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.

Jurors could not reach verdicts on one count of rape and one of attempted rape, following a trial that began at Chester Crown Court in August.

The 28-year-old French international defender had been called a “predator” who “turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game” in court.

Mendy’s defence lawyer had called on the jury to doubt the testimony of the women who accused the footballer of rape, saying: “These accusations, he will never escape... men who have been falsely accused, they never escape them.”

His friend and co-accused Louis Saha Matturie, 41, was also found not guilty by the jury of three counts of rape relating to two teenagers.

Jurors also failed to reach verdicts on three counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault against him by five other women.

Judge Steven Everett had earlier ruled that jurors could return a majority verdict in the trial.

He ended the trial by thanking jurors and excusing them from jury service for seven years.

Matthew Conway, prosecuting, said a retrial will be sought on the counts the jury could not reach verdicts on.

He said: “The prosecution has made a decision. We have made a decision today, which is to proceed on these counts in two separate trials and we seek today a provisional case management.”

Mendy’s lawyer said he ‘looks forward’ to clearing his name at a retrial in June

A retrial for Mendy, at Chester, lasting two to three weeks has been set for 26 June – with a pre-trial hearing on 27 January.

Earlier, Judge Everett brought jurors back into court and asked if they would reach further verdicts if given more time.

The foreman of the jury replied: “No. We are at a point now where we can't agree.”

Judge Everett told them: “It is not unusual that jurors don't reach verdicts on some counts. You have to be true to your duty.”

Mendy is “delighted” to have been cleared of sex attacks on four women and “looks forward” to clearing his name at a retrial over two other allegations and “rebuilding his life”, his lawyer said.

Jenny Wiltshire, of Hickman & Rose, said: “My client Benjamin Mendy would like to thank the members of the jury for their dedication and commitment.

“He also thanks everyone who supported him, and particularly the witnesses who gave evidence on his behalf in the glare of such intense publicity.”

She said he was “delighted that he has been unanimously acquitted” of most of the charges he faced.

Prosecutors said that Matturie, the footballer’s friend and fixer, had the job of finding young women for sex.

The court heard that Mendy met many of the women in Manchester nightclubs before he and Matturie brought them back to his mansion for after-parties.

Louis Matturie was Mendy’s ‘fixer’, the trial heard

Some of the women had their phones taken off them on arrival at the house, and the nearest village, Prestbury, was a 15-minute walk away along an unlit lane, the court heard.

Both men said that any sex that took place was consensual.

During the trial, Mendy was found not guilty of one count of rape on the direction of the judge after a video emerged of the complainant having “enthusiastic sex” with Matturie, after she had claimed to have been raped by him.

Matturie was cleared of two counts of rape and one of sexual assault against the same women after the prosecution offered no further evidence against the defendants.

A statement from Mendy's club said: “Manchester City FC notes the verdict from Chester Crown Court today where a jury has found Benjamin Mendy not guilty of seven charges.

“The jury is hung on two charges and the trial is now over.

“Given there are open matters related to this case, the club is not in a position to comment further at this time.”

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