Benjamin Mendy: Manchester City player accused of rape freed on bail

by 24britishtvJan. 7, 2022, 11 p.m. 17
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The Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy, who has been accused of a series of serious sex offences against young women, has been freed on bail.

The 27-year-old French international has been in custody for more than four months, since first being arrested and charged on 26 August last year, and was freed on Friday after a bail hearing at Chester crown court.

Mendy, who faces seven counts of rape and one of sexual assault, was being held at HMP Manchester, after recently being transferred from HMP Altcourse in Liverpool. He was granted bail by Judge Patrick Thompson at a private hearing, from which the press was excluded while bail was discussed.

Mendy had been due to go on trial this month, but that has been put back to June at the earliest.

Thompson granted Mendy bail until 24 January, the date of his next court hearing. The full bail conditions were not given in open court, but Mendy was told he must live at his home address, not contact complainants, and surrender his passport by midnight on Friday.

Mendy, of Prestbury, Cheshire, is accused of eight offences against five different women, including seven counts of rape relating to four women and one count of sexual assault. The charges are three counts of rape, alleged to have happened on 11 October 2020; sexual touching on 2 January 2021; two counts of rape on 24 July 2021; and two counts of rape on 23 August 2021.

He sat in the dock alongside his co-defendant, Louis Saha Matturie, 40, of Eccles, Greater Manchester, who is accused of six counts of rape and one of sexual assault.

Ian Unsworth QC, prosecuting, told the court that further charges of one count of rape and one count of sexual assault were authorised for Matturie on Thursday, and he will appear in court next week on the additional charges. A decision on an application for bail by Matturie has yet to be made.

Mendy joined City from Monaco in 2017 for a reported £52m, then a record fee for a defender, and he has made 75 appearances. The club suspended him after he was charged.

Three previous bail applications by Mendy have been refused.

The postponement of the trial was likely one of the key reasons behind the decision to grant bail, experts said.

“The fact the case has been delayed could well have been the deciding factor. A delay in the trial means a longer period in custody, and means the defendant can say it’s been pushed back through no fault of their own and they want bail in the meantime,” said Jon Wilkins, a partner at Reeds Solicitors.

Although the bail conditions were not made public, Wilkins said it was likely that a substantial surety – a sum of money paid to guarantee appearance at court – was requested, and Mendy may have an electronic tag with a curfew.

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