The jury in Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy’s rape trial have been asked to question the credibility of their accusers.
In her closing remarks, defense attorney Lisa Wilding KC pointed to accusers’ behaviors that were “inconsistent” with a rape allegation.
She spoke about the testimony of a complainant, a 19-year-old woman, who told jurors in the witness box that Mendy, 28, and her co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie raped her.
But mobile phone evidence emerged during the 16-week trial at Chester Crown Court that she had ‘enthusiastic’ sex with Matturie on one occasion when she claimed she had been raped.
Jurors in the trial have been asked to find both men not guilty of the charges against them.
Ms Wilding said: ‘She sat in that courtroom and looked you in the eye and gave what might have been a compelling, compelling account of being repeatedly raped by these two men.
“Like so many witnesses in this case, she is caught in a tangle of connections, contacts and acquaintances.
She added: “Why is this important?
“Because of the collusion. You have to ask yourself, with respect to each of the women who have come into this courtroom to testify, is their testimony reliable? Is their testimony solid?
“This case hinges on the credibility of witnesses. People lie.”
The defense attorney went on to say that two other complainants, who also knew each other, also made “remarkably similar” allegations that Matturie raped them both while they slept.
Ms Wilding then told jurors the account of another woman, 23, who claimed Matturie, 40, raped her at 5.30am in Mendy’s Mercedes car as she drove to a local garage to buy more booze for a party at the footballer’s house. .
She later spent the night at Mendy’s and had sex with three other men, Ms Wilding said, and when she left the footballer’s mansion at 10.03am she texted a friend saying: ” Hahaha, I slept with Jack Grealish.”
Ms Wilding said such behavior is ‘inconsistent’ with a rape allegation.
She said the case was “inextricably linked” to that of a 17-year-old who accused both Mendy and Matturie of raping her twice on the same night.
Voicemails sent to friends shortly after heard her describe the party as the ‘best night of my life’, which Ms Wilding says is ‘not a reflection of someone who was raped “.
Prosecutors told the jury that Mendy lured young women into “toxic and dangerous” situations where they were raped and sexually assaulted.
They said the attacks took place at a flat he rented in Manchester city centre, as well as at his home, The Spinney, in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire countryside, which he used for “after-parties”, including regular anti-lockdown rallies. .
Matturie has been accused of being a ‘fixer’ for getting girls back to after-party parties in the VIP lounges of Manchester nightclubs.
Both men claim that any sex with women was consensual.
Premier League star Mendy denies seven counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault against six young women.
Matturie, from Salford, denies six counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault against seven young women.
The trial was adjourned until Tuesday morning.