Benjamin Mendy not on trial for ‘attitude or approach’ towards women, jury told

Benjamin Mendy not on trial for ‘attitude or approach’ towards women, jury told
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Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy is not on trial for his “attitude or approach” towards women, a jury has been told.

The Blues defender, 28, is on trial accused of raping and sexually assaulting six different women on five different occasions at his mansion in rural Cheshire between October 2018 and August last year. He denies all charges against him and says all sex was consensual.

Following the completion of all the evidence in the case, Judge Steven Everett issued his legal directions to jurors sitting at Chester Crown Court today.

He told the jury they must avoid making “false assumptions” or allowing “stereotypes about rape or sexual assault“ to affect their verdicts.

Judge Everett added: “You may have concluded that Mr Mendy and Mr Matturie wanted to have sex with a number of woman and, at times, were prepared to have sex with the same woman at the same party on the same night.

“It’s entirely possible you have come to the conclusion that you were not impressed with this approach, one which Mr Mendy acknowledges was disrespectful to the women he had sex with.

“He was simply looking to complete an act of sex then move on without thinking of the consequences for the women.”

Judge Everett reminded the jury that Mr Mendy and Mr Matturie were not on trial for “that attitude or approach or a breach of lockdown rules”.

He instructed them to regard the evidence “dispassionately” and “not allow any moralistic view to cloud your judgement”.

Jurors were also told to put aside any feelings of emotion when they retire to consider their verdicts. It is down to the prosecution to prove the defendants’ guilt and Mr Mendy and Mr Matturie “do not have to prove anything”, Judge Everett said.

He told the jury they must be “sure of guilt” in order to convict the defendants on a charge.

“If you are not sure a defendant is guilty of a charge he faces, your verdict must be not guilty,” the judge explained.

Jurors were also instructed to treat both Mr Mendy and Mr Matturie’s cases separately. “What you must not do is assume your verdicts must be the same for both defendants,” said Judge Everett. Mr Mendy denies seven counts of rape against four women, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault.

The offences are alleged to have taken place at his mansion, near Prestbury, between October 2018 and August last year, and relate to six women. Mr Mendy’s friend and alleged ‘fixer’ Louis Saha Matturie, 41, from Eccles, Salford, is also on trial and denies six counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault, allegations relating to seven women.

The trial continues tomorrow morning when barristers will begin their closing speeches.

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