Benjamin Mendy: Jurors told to ‘question credibility’ of Man City footballer’s rape accusers

Jurors in the trial of Benjamin Mendy have been told to question the credibility of the women who accused the Manchester City footballer and his friend of rape.

Mr Mendy, 28, has denied seven counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault against six young women.

His friend Louis Saha Matturie denied six counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault relating to seven young women.

Lisa Wilding KC, in her closing defence speech on behalf of Mr Matturie, pointed to the evidence of one complainant, a 19-year-old woman who said from the witness box that both men had raped her.

The barrister then turned to mobile phone footage which emerged during the 16-week trial of the woman having “enthusiastic” sex with Matturie on an occasion she claimed she was being raped.

The jury at Chester Crown Court was then directed to find both men not guilty of the charges brought by her.

Ms Wilding said: “She sat in this courtroom and looked you in the eye and gave what would have, perhaps, been a compelling and convincing account of being raped multiple times by these two men.

“Like so many of the witnesses in this case, she is caught up in a tangled web of connections and contacts and knowledge. Why is that important?

“Because of collusion. You have to consider in respect of each of the women who came to this courtroom to give evidence, is their evidence reliable? Is their evidence solid?

“This case rests on the credibility of witnesses. People lie,” Ms Wilding added.

Two other complainants, who also knew each other, then made “remarkably similar” allegations that Mr Matturie had raped them both while sleeping, Ms Wilding said.

Ms Wilding cited the account of another woman, aged, 23, who claimed Mr Matturie raped her at 5.30am in Mendy’s Mercedes car while on a trip to a local garage to buy more alcohol for a party at the footballer’s mansion in the Cheshire countryside.

She stayed at Mr Mendy’s house afterwards and had sex with three other men before sending a text to a friend as she left at 10.03am saying “Hahaha I have slept with Jack Grealish”, the jury heard.

Such behaviour is “inconsistent” with an allegation of rape, Ms Wilding said.

She added that the woman’s case was “inextricably linked” to that of a 17-year-old who alleges she was raped twice by both men on the same night.

Ms Wilding said the allegation against Mr Matturie, that he raped her in a cinema room at Mr Mendy’s house while others were present, then went to his flat in Manchester where he raped her a second time, made “absolutely no sense”.

Voice messages sent to her friends later that same day, where she called the party the “best night of my life” were “not a reflection of someone who has been raped”, Ms Wilding added.

Prosecutors claim Mr Mendy lured young women into “toxic and dangerous” situations where they were raped and sexually assaulted at a flat he rented in Manchester city centre, and his home, The Spinney, in Mottram St Andrew which was used for “after-parties”.

Mr Matturie is alleged to have been the “fixer” to get girls back to the parties after nights spent drinking in VIP lounges at Manchester nightclubs.

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