Footballer Benjamin Mendy a ‘predatory serial rapist’, jury told

Footballer Benjamin Mendy is a “predatory serial rapist”, a jury heard.

The 28-year-old lured young women into “toxic and dangerous” situations at parties where they were raped and sexually assaulted, Chester Crown Court heard.

Timothy Cray KC, giving the prosecution closing speech, told the jury both the Premier League footballer and his co-accused, Louis Saha Matturie, 41, assumed young women at their parties were “good for sex” and “never heard the word no”.

During the three-month trial the jury heard a flat Mendy rented in Manchester city centre, and his home, The Spinney, in Mottram St Andrew, in the Cheshire countryside, were used for “after-parties” including regular lockdown-busting gatherings.

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.

Both men deny any wrongdoing.

Benjamin Mendy court case
Louis Saha Matturie (David Rawcliffe/PA)

Mr Cray told the jury young women invited to parties were walking into “toxic and dangerous” situations.

He said: “The defendants had the knowledge, the control and the ever- changing cast of young women that gave them the opportunity to abuse that knowledge and power, the defendants’ control of these toxic situations – these weren’t really parties.”

The jury has heard from character witnesses for the French international, including Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, praising Mendy.

But Mr Cray said: “For all the good side of Benjamin Mendy’s character, there’s this dangerous streak which makes him a predatory serial rapist.

“We all know that celebrity is absolutely no guarantee of true good character is it?

“In fact, celebrity in general is really good cover for people to hide the dark side of your life and get away with it.

“Jimmy Savile fooled the whole nation with his celebrity.”

But Eleanor Laws KC, defending Mendy, told the jury that in each case “it is one word against another” and claimed in some way or another all the complainants were connected to one another.

Ms Laws highlighted the case of one complainant, a woman, 19, who told jurors from the witness box that both men had raped her.

During her evidence, mobile phone video emerged of her having “enthusiastic” sex with Matturie on an occasion she claimed she was being raped.

Jurors were directed to find both men not guilty of those charges.

Ms Laws said: “Without that video you would be considering that evidence. But Mr Mendy is a danger?

“You can’t pretend it didn’t happen and complainants like her are at the very heart of this case.

“People do make untrue allegations.”

Ms Laws said some of the other complainants had not agreed to hand over their mobile phones for police analysis, so the defence do not know if there are other videos.

And she suggested having “regret” at having “quick, animalistic sex” is not the same as being raped.

Ms Laws continued: “Every complainant is a victim, and if they don’t know they are a victim they will be by the time police have second, third, fourth interviews with them.”

Both defendants say any sex with women was consensual.

Mendy denies seven counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault against six young women.

Matturie, of Eccles, Salford, denies six counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault relating to seven young women.

The trial was adjourned until Friday.