A juror in the trial of Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy has been discharged for medical reasons after the jury returned to court following a week-long break from considering its verdicts.
Judge Steven Everett told Chester Crown Court the trial will continue with the 11 remaining jurors – seven men and four women. The jury first retired on 5 December but has been hit by Covid-19 and a week-long break before reconvening on Monday morning.
Judge Everett told jurors that if they have not reached verdicts by Thursday the court may sit on Friday but otherwise will reconvene on 3 January, if necessary.
Mendy, 28, and his co-accused, Louis Saha Matturie, 41, have been on trial since August 10, accused of multiple sex offences against young women.
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. Both men deny all offences. Thirteen women in all had accused the defendants of sexual offences.
Partway through the trial, the judge ordered the jury to find the defendants not guilty on all charges relating to one of the women after a “sex video” emerged of her having “willing” sex with Matturie at a time when she claimed he raped her.
Mendy told the jury he now regrets his partying lifestyle but denied ever forcing any woman into sex. Matturie did not go into the witness box but also denies any wrongdoing. Both defendants say any sex with women was consensual. The trial continues.