Pat Hurst, PA
A young woman “looked like she had seen a ghost” moments after emerging from a bedroom where footballer Benjamin Mendy allegedly raped her three times, her friend has told a court.
The friend said she had gone to look for the 20-year-old, who she regarded “like a sister”, after she had gone missing with Mendy for around 20 minutes during a party at the Manchester City star’s mansion in Cheshire.
The witness told Chester Crown Court she found her friend coming downstairs from an upstairs bedroom.
Timothy Cray QC, prosecuting Mendy (28) who denies multiple sex assaults, asked the friend: “How did she look to you?”
The witness replied: “She looked like she had seen a ghost. She looked blank. She looked dead.”
Moments later the rape complainant told her friend she was “very keen” to leave and go home, the trial heard.
When they got to her home, the 20-year-old told her friend she was “fine” and tried “brushing off” the incident, the witness said.
But she also talked about “being in a situation where you don’t want to do something, feel pressured, so you just go along with something”, the friend told the jury.
She said that the morning after, the complainant said Mendy had promised not to touch her if she stripped while he looked at her, but then “forced” her down on a bed and raped her.
Earlier the court heard both young women had been among a group of four friends who went back to Mendy’s home, The Spinney in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire, after drinks at a nearby bar on October 11th, 2020.
The girls had been told not to use their phones at Mendy’s home due to sensitivities to social media photos and posts and worries about gatherings during the Covid pandemic.
The 20-year-old woman had been scrolling through her phone near a swimming pool when he came over and “snatched” the phone from her to check if she had been taking pictures and posting to social media, the court has been told.
She said she asked for it back but the footballer led her to an upstairs bedroom where the alleged sex attack took place despite her telling him she did not want sex.
Prosecutors allege Mendy is a “predator” who “turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game”.
Mendy denies eight counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault against seven young women.
Co-accused Louis Saha Matturie (41) is the footballer’s friend and fixer, alleged to have had the job of finding young women for sex.
Matturie, of Eccles, Salford, denies eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault relating to eight young women.
Both men say if any sex did take place with women or girls it was consensual.
The trial continues.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800-77 8888, access text service and webchat options at drcc.ie/services/helpline/, or visit Rape Crisis Help.
In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112.