Benjamin Mendy trial: Louis Saha Matturie and Man City footballer on trial accused of rape and sexual assault

Benjamin Mendy is accused of rape and sexual assault and jurors were told his home in Mottram St Andrew was central to the case

Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy is accused of raping three women following a pool party at his mansion and a subsequent nightclub trip.

The 28-year-old is alleged to have raped them after the party at his home in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire, and the trip to China White nightclub in Manchester last July on the night of 23 July and the early morning of 24 July.

At Chester Crown Court, prosecutor Timothy Cray QC told jurors this took place after lockdown restrictions were lifted and the new Premier League season was getting under way.

The trial against Mendy and his co-accused Louis Saha Matturie, 40, began on Monday.

Mendy denies eight counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault relating to seven women between October 2018 and August last year.

While Matturie, of Eccles, Salford, denies eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault relating to eight women.

The alleged offences against Matturie span July 2012 to August last year.

Benjamin Mendy arrives at Chester Crown Court where he is on trial along with co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie accused of rape and sexual assault charges.

What was said about the pool party?

A woman, aged 22, who worked at a nightclub in Manchester, was also at the pool party, invited by Saha in return for money – an attempt to “procure” her as a potential victim, it is alleged.

Mendy invited her to the cinema room in the house, the woman telling another girl if she was not back in 10 minutes to come and find her.

The 22-year-old did not want sex but he “persisted in his demands” until she gave in and he raped her, the court heard.

Jurors were told the other girl did come looking for her – but found two of Mendy’s associates blocking her way.

After the pool party, Mendy, Saha and others went to China White nightclub in Manchester.

Two women, both 19, who had been to the pool party, returned to Mendy’s house after the club, where both were raped, it is alleged.

One remembered being in the swimming pool.

Her next recollection was being face down on a sofa in the living room with her arms being held behind her back.

Mendy was raping her saying, “Don’t move, don’t move”, the court heard.

Saha is also alleged to have raped the same woman.

The second 19-year-old had also gone to bed only to wake up to find Mendy raping her, the court heard.

The jury was told one complainant, who first met Mendy in Barcelona, ended up at his home after going into Manchester for food and drinks with the player and another man.

Mr Cray said the woman had made it very clear that she was not interested in Mendy.

He said: “The next day, she was having a shower when Mendy entered the bathroom and started to touch himself in front of her.

“She told him to leave and tried to get a towel to cover herself up.

“She also tried to get her underwear from her bag but Mendy took it from her, saying words like, ‘I just want to see you’.”

The prosecutor said the woman was unable to leave the bathroom and they ended up on the bed with the woman on Mendy’s lap.

He said: “She tried to move but she was unable to get away from him.”

What was said during the opening of the case?

Opening the case against the defendant, prosecutor Timothy Cray QC told a jury panel: “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.”

Mr 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.”

What was said about the co-accused?

Mr 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”.

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”.

“Our case is that the defendants’ pursuit of these 13 women turned them into predators, who were prepared to commit serious sexual offences,” Mr Cray said.

“The acts that the defendants did together show callous indifference to the women they went after.

“In their minds, and this could not be clearer, the stream of women they brought to their homes existed purely to be pursued for sex.”

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

How many women will give evidence?

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

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

Mr 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.

Mr Cray told jurors Mendy and Saha say in “broad terms” that all the women consented to sex, willingly with only a couple of allegations where there is a denial that anything sexual happened.

He said: “In this day and age, no one can doubt, can they, that ‘no means no’.”

Mr Cray continued: “We say these defendants weren’t in some happy state of sexual ignorance about how this all works, they knew very well what they were doing.

“They turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game and if women got hurt or distressed, too bad.”

The trial continues.