Benjamin Mendy trial: Footballer ‘locked women in panic room and raped them’, court told

The Manchester City footballer is accused of raping and sexually assaulting seven different women on five different occasions at his home in Cheshire between October 2018 and August last year.

Manchester City footballer , arriving for the start of his trial at Chester Crown Court

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Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy ‘locked women into his bedroom’ using ‘panic room’ style latches after nights out and then raped them, a court heard.The footballer, 28, is accused of raping and sexually assaulting seven different women on five different occasions at his home in Cheshire between October 2018 and August last year.

Prosecutor Timothy Cray QC told jurors two women claim they were taken to locked rooms at the footballer’s mansion, known as ‘The Spinney’ and raped. Jurors saw footage from Mendy’s house showing the complicated locks, which can only be unlocked from the inside of the room and are designed to stop burglars from getting in.

The footballer, 28, is accused of raping and sexually assaulting seven different women on five different occasions

Mr Cray said: “Those rooms each had a special locking door and two of the witnesses independently felt they were locked in behind these locking doors.

“On the master bedroom and office there are special locks, the legitimate purpose of these locks is that if you are likely to be a target for burglars they create a panic room.

“You can’t get in from the outside but you can open them from the inside if you know what to do. The point is you have to know how to open them from the inside. The witnesses get the impression, when taken there by Mendy, they are locked in.”

The claims came as the trial, which is due to last until November, began at Chester Crown Court on Monday morning.

The French International denies eight counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape.

Also on trial is Mendy’s friend and ‘fixer’ Louis Saha Matturie, 41, who allegedly helped find young women for Mendy and was present at parties where women claim they were raped. Saha, of Eccles, denies eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault against seven different women – two of whom Mendy is also accused of raping.

Some of the alleged offences took place at a flat in Manchester rented by Mendy, it was said.

Co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie at Chester Crown Court for his trial with Man City footballer Benjamin Mendy

The court heard Mendy, a World Cup winner with the French national team, had “wealth and status” and others were “prepared to help him to get to what he wanted”.

Mr Cray said: “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.

“To the defendants, the powerful, the feelings and emotions of the victims counted for nothing. 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.”

Benjamin Mendy in action for Manchester City in 2021

He added: “The acts show callous indifference to the women they went after. In their minds, the stream of women they brought to their homes existed purely to be pursued for sex.

Jurors heard Mendy’s Cheshire home is “isolated” and alleged victims felt “vulnerable” as they had their phones confiscated.

Mr Cray said Mendy and Saha will argue the women “consented to sex willingly and often enthusiastically”.

A court sketch of Benjamin Mendy

He said: “The defendants view of consent were miles away from where the complainants or any reasonable person would draw the line in terms of agreement to having sex by choice and being free and able to make that choice.

“The general attitude of them was that any girls at the gates of The Spinney or at the flat in Manchester and that door closed behind her – well that woman was available for sex.

“The defendants weren’t in some happy state of sexual ignorance, they knew very well what they were doing. They turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game. If a woman got hurt or distressed – too bad.

“They were prepared to and crossed the line – free willing consent to sex, agreement by choice – over and over again.”

Jurors saw drone footage of Mendy’s pad, which backs on to woods and fields and is on a “rural road” with no street lighting. Footage was also taken by police of the entire inside of the house, which boasts an indoor swimming pool, a games room with a Manchester City mural on the walls and a home cinema.

The trial continues.

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