Monday, January 30, 2023

Court told Benjamin Mendy is a victim of a ‘cesspit of toxic gossip and toxic lies’, as barrister urges the jury to acquit the City player

Court told Benjamin Mendy is a victim of a ‘cesspit of toxic gossip and toxic lies’, as barrister urges the jury to acquit the City player

His barrister told the jury that when he was charged with rape, Benjamin Mendy was subjected to ” cesspit of toxic gossip and toxic lies”

Eleanor Laws KC made the remark in her closing statement at the trial of Mr. Mendy, who denies seven counts of rape, a day after the prosecutor referred to the Manchester City star as a “sexual predator” who had created a “toxic” environment in which he could exploit young women.

Mr. Mendy, 28, is on trial for seven charges of rape, one act of sexual assault, and one count of attempted rape on five separate occasions between October 2018 and August 2018 at his rural Cheshire estate. He denies all charges and claims all sexual activity was voluntary.

Louis Saha Matturie, 41, from Eccles, Salford, who is Mr. Mendy’s alleged “fixer,” is also on trial and denies six counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault involving seven women.

As the trial continued on  Friday, Ms. Laws stated that the August 2021 press coverage of Mr. Mendy’s indictment had a “powerful influence” on the complainants.

“We know know there was a lot of chit chat around at the time of these reports,” said the KC.

The jurors were informed that in July 2020, a lady who claimed she was raped by Mr. Mendy at a party at his home in Prestbury, Cheshire, testified: “Everyone kind of knows each other… everything just gets spread around.”

The KC informed the jury that the news of the allegations sparked “a cesspool of poisoned rumors and toxic lies.”

The attorney stated that the publicity ‘called forward’ a woman who claimed that Mr. Mendy attempted to rape her in October 2018.

Referred to as Woman 1 in press stories of the trial, she “went about her life” for three and a half years until she “saw these reports” and made her charges, according to Mr. Mendy’s attorney.

Ms. Laws stated that Woman 1 had changed her narrative and refused to give the police her phone.

The accuser stated that she was not attracted to Mr. Mendy, but was attracted to another man.

After the alleged offense, she allegedly left a door unlocked. Ms. Laws questioned whether this behavior was indicative of genuine interest in Mr. Mendy.

Ms. Laws stated that Woman 10, who claims she was raped during a party at Mr. Mendy’s home in August 2021, “told a number of demonstrable lies.”

She had freely entered Mr. Mendy’s office, where rape is said to have occurred, before proceeding to the cinema room with Mr. Matturie.

Ms. Laws stated that Woman 10 had felt “maybe a little bit envious” when Woman 11 informed her she had sex with Jack Grealish.

“We all know how interested she was in Jack Grealish,” said the KC.

The barrister stated that she had left ‘joyous’ voice messages for her friends at the conclusion of the night before deleting them.

Mr. Mendy testified to the jury that he had never met Woman 10 before. When she arrived, he greeted her, complimented her, and then asked her if she wanted to have sexual relations.

Ms. Laws stated that Mr. Mendy testified at trial that she was “into it” and the intercourse was “dirty.”

The jurors are informed that he asked her whether she had taken the morning-after pill, and she responded no.

Woman 10 had told her pals that she had been invited to see a City game from a private box, according to Ms. Laws.

A video was shown to the jury of Woman 10 waiting by the ropes outside China White, the nightclub Mr. Mendy frequented before attending a house party.

Ms. Laws reported that Mr. Mendy does not acknowledge her as he exits the club and enters a cab, while Woman 10 enters a taxi “with persons she does not know.”

The attorney stated that during her testimony, the witness told numerous lies. Ms. Laws stated that she had lied about her age and that she appeared older than she actually was.

Earlier, Ms. Laws told the jury, “We know that these women when they meet at nightclubs they swap social media profiles and become linked up on Instagram or whatever.”

Ms. Laws criticized the prosecution’s description of her client as someone with a “dark side” who pushed himself on women who fought against him for up to 20 minutes as she concluded her speech.

She stated that the data demonstrated that he was a “unique character” with a “large heart.”

The KC recalled excellent character testimonials in which Mr. Mendy was regarded as “the nicest person they had met in football,” as well as someone who never said no to a request and always wanted to have fun. She recalled that the city manager referred to him as a “good boy.”

“He’s not the kind of character, I would suggest, to do that to anybody,” she told the jury.

She stated that the jurors would be conscious of a ‘weight of expectation,’ but if they determined he was not the ‘predatory monster’ represented by the prosecution, they should acquit.

Ms. Laws requested the jury members to research Ched Evans.

She stated that her client would “never escape” the allegations made against him and that his career in the United Kingdom was over.

She pleaded with the jury to “bring an end to his absolute hell.”

The jurors were given a brief recess, and upon their return, Judge Everett informed them that some of the closing arguments were “ill-advised.”

During the prosecution’s final argument, he made references to Jimmy Savile, Ched Evans, and ‘feeling pressured’ by Ms. Laws.

The judge said: “If there’s any pressure on you, put it to one side. All you have to do is listen carefully to the evidence and try the case faithfully in accordance with the law. It’s as simple as that.”

He emphasized there was ‘no weight of expectation’.

The judge continued by saying that some of the jurors ‘might remember Ched Evans,’ but he said,  “It’s got nothing to do with this case. I don’t want you to look up Ched Evans because you would be doing something I asked you not to do at the beginning of this case, that’s looking up social media.”

The trial will resume on Monday.

Court told Benjamin Mendy is a victim of a ‘cesspit of toxic gossip and toxic lies’, as barrister urges the jury to acquit the City player

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