Benjamin Mendy accuser was in WhatsApp group with woman who wanted to sue Manchester City, court told

·3 min read
Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy arriving at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday (David Rawcliffe/PA Wire)
Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy arriving at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday (David Rawcliffe/PA Wire)

A woman who has accused Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy of rape was in a WhatsApp group with another alleged sex assault victim who wanted to sue the football club, a court has heard.

The alleged victim denied trying to “minimise” knowing the other woman, after telling people in a statement: “I think I may have met her once but cannot be sure.”

Mendy has been charged with eight counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault against seven young women alleged to have taken place between October 2018 and last August. He denies all the charges.

On Friday, the fifth day of his trial at Chester Crown Court, the jury heard from a woman who alleges she was raped by Mendy three times at his home in October 2020, when she was 20 years old, after going back to his mansion, The Spinney, with a group of friends after they met in a nearby bar.

Under cross-examination by Eleanor Laws QC, representing Mendy, she was questioned about knowing another woman who also alleges that she was sexually assaulted by Mendy three months later, when he is alleged to have grabbed her groin over her clothing at a party at his home in Mottram St Andrew.

She told the court that she reported her rape allegation to police in November 2020 and did not find out about the groping allegation by the other woman until February 2021, after which she had to take two months off work due to the trauma of reliving her own experience.

The other complainant then went to police shortly after the two women were in contact that February.

The witness said she did not remember both of them being part of a WhatsApp group with the title “Sunday Shlagggs” but conceded they had both been with other girls on an overnight trip to Wales.

Asked by Ms Laws whether the older woman ever discussed with her that “she wanted to sue Manchester City for what happened to her”, the woman replied: “I don’t remember.”

She denied trying to “exaggerate and lie” about what had happened between her and Mendy.

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Pressed by the defence lawyer Ms Laws on whether she had “persuaded” herself “that it was Mr Mendy that had done something wrong that night and not something entirely consensual”, she replied: “I’m absolutely certain I did not give consent.”

Ms Laws added: “What happened in that room with Mr Mendy, in drink, is you did things you regretted and were embarrassed about the next day?”

“Absolutely not,” the woman replied.

In re-examination, Timothy Cray QC, prosecuting, asked the woman why she decided to go to the police and go through with a prosecution of Mendy.

“The main reason was I just did not want to be here any more,” she said. “That’s a really scary thought for me to have because I have got really good friends and a really good job, but I couldn’t carry on not being myself.

“If someone just listened and it’s out of me, then I can try to carry on. I didn’t want to live a life where pretty much I didn’t want to be here anymore. I didn’t want to do that to my family or my sister.”

The trial continues on Monday.

Additional reporting by PA