Benjamin Mendy: 'Predator' footballer raped women in locked 'panic rooms', court told

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·4-min read
Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy arrives at Chester Crown Court where he is accused of eight counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape, relating to seven young women. Picture date: Monday August 15, 2022.
Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy arrives at Chester Crown Court where he is accused of eight counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape, relating to seven young women. (PA)

Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy raped women in locked "panic rooms" in his home from which his victims believed they could not escape, a court has heard.

The 28-year-old is accused of eight counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault.

The jury was told on Monday that Mendy raped three women in the same night following a pool party at his mansion and a subsequent nightclub trip.

Two of the women said they had been in locked rooms, the master bedroom and the downstairs office or study, when they were assaulted.

These had a special locking mechanism, which created a “panic room” in case of burglary which can only be opened from the inside not the outside.

The prosecutor told that court that you have to know how to open the doors to these rooms from the inside, meaning the women believed they were locked in the rooms.

Opening the case, prosecutor Timothy Cray QC told a jury at Chester Crown Court: “The prosecution case is simple – it has little to do with football.

“Instead, we say, it is another chapter in a very old story – men who rape and sexually assault women because they think they are powerful, and because they think they can get away with it.”

Cray described the footballer as a "predator" who used a friend as a "fixer" to create situations where women could be sexually abused.

Mendy is alleged to have committed the offences against seven young women between October 2018 and August last year.

Mendy’s co-accused, Louis Saha Matturie, 40, denies eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault relating to eight young women.

Co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie at Chester Crown Court for his trial with Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy where he is accused of eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault, relating to eight young women. Picture date: Monday August 15, 2022.
Mendy’s co-accused, Louis Saha Matturie, 40, arrives at Chester Crown Court. (PA)

Cray told jurors that Saha, of Eccles, Salford, was Mendy’s friend and fixer, and one of his jobs was “to find young women and to create the situations where those young women could be raped and sexually assaulted”.

Cray said the feelings of the alleged victims “counted for nothing”, adding: “These women were disposable, things to be used for sex, then thrown to one side.

“That was the effect of deliberate, planned choices the defendants made, and the desires they let loose many times.”

The prosecutor said Mendy was a “reasonably famous football player” who “because of his wealth and status, others were prepared to help him to get what he wanted”.

File photo dated 22-02-2020 of Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy who has pleaded not guilty to an eighth count of rape ahead of his trial. Issue date: Wednesday August 10, 2022.
Mendy has been a footballer for Manchester City. (PA)

Cray said “the fact they would not take ‘no’ for an answer” would be something the jurors will “hear time and time again”.

The prosecutor told jurors they will hear from 13 different women.

The jury heard that central to the case is Mendy’s home, The Spinney, described as an isolated mansion, in Mottram St Andrew in rural Cheshire.

Cray said there were five dates, between October 2018 and August 2021, when nine young women arrived at the footballer’s address and afterwards made complaints of rape and/or sexual assault against Mendy and Saha.

There are also four separate complaints against Saha involving allegations away from Mendy’s house, in Manchester and Sheffield.

Cray said Mendy’s home was “part and parcel” of how the defendants were able to abuse their alleged victims.

Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy arrives at Chester Crown Court where he is accused of eight counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape, relating to seven young women. Picture date: Monday August 15, 2022.
Benjamin Mendy has denied all the allegations. (PA)

Once at the house, the victims were vulnerable for a number of reasons, the jury heard, including having their mobile phones taken away once they arrived, some victims believing they were in locked rooms, and the differences in ages and wealth between the defendants and the complainants.

“Vulnerable, scared, isolated – these are words you’ll hear from lots of the witnesses,” Cray said.

“Ask yourselves, as you get under the skin of what was happening, who had the power and control in the situations these women experienced and you will hear about?”

The alleged offences span July 2012 to August last year.

Both men deny all charges.

The trial continues