The 28-year-old was accused of attacking a 24-year-old woman at his £4m mansion in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire in October 2020.Mr Mendy was also accused of the attempted rape of another woman, aged 29, who said he had also molested her at his home two years before.It comes after he was cleared of six rapes at an earlier trial in January.
The France international broke down in tears as the not-guilty verdicts were read out by the jury foreman following a three-week trial at Chester Crown Court. The jury of six men and six women deliberated for about three hours and 15 minutes before reaching their conclusion. Judge Steven Everett said: “Mr Mendy can be discharged from the dock.”
The footballer, whose contract with Manchester City expired this month, was cleared at the earlier trial of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault, relating to four young women or teenagers. But jurors failed to reach verdicts on two counts of rape and attempted rape, prompting a re-trial.
Benjamin Aina KC, prosecuting, claimed he had enjoyed parties at his home and on two occasions “took advantage” of female guests, while his wealth and celebrity status turned him into a man not used to being told “no”.The first complainant, woman A, a 29-year-old student, first met Mr Mendy while in a nightclub in Barcelona in late 2017 and she became intimate with one of his friends, the trial was told.
They kept in touch and a year later she arranged to visit Mr Mendy’s friend at the footballer’s house, where they stayed after they all went with other girls for a night out. The woman told the jury that the morning after, when she took a shower in the en-suite bathroom, Mr Mendy appeared uninvited, wearing just boxer shorts, and he was visibly “aroused”.
She alleged Mr Mendy then grabbed her and tried to rape her on the bed, despite her repeatedly telling him to stop. Mr Mendy told the jury the two were “flirting” during the night out and the next morning he went to her room and they began hugging on a bed. He said she told him she would not have sex with him because she was with his friend.
Mr Mendy said she then got upset when he told her he had already asked his friend who had told him it would be “OK”.He denied trying to rape her. Another complainant, woman B, told the trial she was out with friends at a bar in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, near Mr Mendy’s home when they were invited back to the footballer’s house in 2019.
The 24-year-old alleged Mr Mendy took her phone from her, which contained “intimate” photos, then led her to his locked bedroom, as she asked for her phone back. She told the jury Mr Mendy told her “I just wanna have a look at you” and told her to take her clothes off, which she did.
She said he threw her phone on the bed and when she went to retrieve it he raped her despite her telling him she did not want to have sex. The woman told the trial that afterwards Mr Mendy said to her: “You’re too shy. It’s fine. I’ve had sex with 10,000 women.”
Mr Mendy told the jury the woman had agreed to “play around” on the bed and denied raping her saying afterwards they swapped details to connect on Snapchat. Mr Aina, prosecuting, claimed Mr Mendy was not used to women saying no to him. He said: “You wanted women who came to your house to party, get drunk and have sex?”
Mr Mendy replied: “If they want.”I will never force to have sex with a woman.”After the hearing, his solicitor, Jenny Wiltshire, said: “Benjamin Mendy would like to thank the members of the jury for focussing on the evidence in this trial, rather than on the rumour and innuendo that have followed this case from the outset.
“This is the second time that Mr Mendy has been tried and found not guilty by a jury. He is delighted that both juries reached the correct verdicts.”She said Mr Mendy had “tried to remain strong” but the process had “inevitably had a serious impact on him”.He now wanted to ask for his privacy to be respected “so he can begin rebuilding his life,” Ms Wiltshire added.
Highlanders’ Apology for Fan Misconduct in Abandoned Dynamos Fixture
Highlanders Football Club has issued a sincere apology to the Zimbabwean football community following the crowd skirmishes that occurred during the high-profile premiership fixture against their archrivals Dynamos. The incident happened just 33 minutes into the game at Barbourfields Stadium, where the Bulawayo club was trailing by two goals. Fans stormed the pitch, protesting against the referring decisions that were perceived to be unfavourable to their team.
The police were overwhelmed by the advancing football hooligans, forcing them to retreat. Some fans were injured during the skirmishes, and vehicles were damaged as the police fought running battles with fans outside the stadium.
In a statement released on Monday, the Highlanders Football Club condemned the unsporting behaviour of the fans who caused the abandonment of the match. The club executive stated that they would be heavily fined for the mayhem, and the points would be awarded to Dynamos on a 3-0 scoreline as per the norm with abandoned matches.
The statement read, “Highlanders Football Club is deeply saddened by the crowd trouble that led to the abandonment of our league match against Dynamos FC at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday. The club condemns the unsporting behaviour that negatively profiles Zimbabwean football as a brand. It is sad to witness such ugly scenes at a family sports event, especially at a time when the club, together with other stakeholders, is working tirelessly to bring fans back into the stadiums and convincing the corporate world that sport, in general, and football, in particular, is worth their support.”
Highlanders apologised to all its stakeholders, especially sponsors, partners, and innocent football-loving fans who were affected by the acts of a few selfish individuals who care less about the growth of their clubs and football in general. They also prayed for those who were injured and wished them a speedy recovery. The club also urged stakeholders to work together to find a lasting solution to hooliganism in football stadiums.
This is not the first time in two seasons that a match involving the two most followed clubs has been abandoned due to crowd trouble. Another fixture was abandoned in May last year when both sets of fans invaded the pitch. Highlanders celebrated an unorthodox celebration for a 93rd-minute finish by Washington Navaya that broke the deadlock, while Dynamos fans were protesting a referring decision over an incident leading to the goal.
Zimbabwean youngster Jimiel Chikukwa has joined English National League side FC Halifax Town
Zimbabwean youngster Jimiel Chikukwa has joined English National League side FC Halifax Town following his release by Championship side Watford.
The 20-year-old forward was unveiled by Halifax Town last week. ”We are pleased to announce that FC Halifax Town has signed Jimiel Chikukwa, who was recently released from Championship team Watford”. Chikukwa started his career in the Leeds United academy when he was only 13 years old. However, he decided to join Watford’s academy in the summer of 2021 when his contract with Leeds expired.
During his time with Watford, Chikukwa was loaned to Maidstone United in the National League South for the second half of the 2021/22 season. Although the Stones won the National League South, Chikukwa only made one league appearance before returning to Watford at the end of the season.
Town boss Chris Millington is optimistic about the future of new signing Jimiel Chikukwa.
Millington expressed, “He is a young and thrilling player who needs to demonstrate his abilities in senior games. However, he has shown tremendous potential, and we believe he will be an exceptional player for our team in the future.” Millington also mentioned that Chikukwa is versatile and can play in various positions, including anywhere in the front three and as an attacking wing-back.
We think he could pose a danger when playing as a number nine, but he could also be a threat when positioned on either wing. In our current formation, he might even excel as an attacking wing-back, similar to Angelo Cappello.
Reims secures first win with Munetsi scoring his first goal
Zimbabwe international Marshall Munetsi has expressed his delight after scoring his first goal of the season to inspire Stade de Reims to their first win of the season following a 2-0 victory against Clermont Foot in the second round of the French Ligue 1 on Sunday.
The 27-year-old midfielder was instrumental in ensuring Reims got its first win of the season after breaking the deadlock with a header in the 17th minute.
Denmark international Mohamed Daramy, a new signing from Ajax, added a second goal by converting a low cross from Junya Ito in the 84th.
Munetsi, who is flourishing in a more advanced role at Reims, had several opportunities to double his tally.
Probably his best chance of securing a brace came in the 76th minute when the Clermont goalkeeper Mory Diaw produced a double save to deny the Zimbabwe international what looked like a certain goal.
In the end, it was a successful day for Munetsi as he continued his solid start to the season by scoring a crucial goal to follow up on his contribution on the opening day of the season when he registered an assist during the 2-1 loss against Marseille in the first round of the season.
Afterwards, Munetsi took to social media to praise his teammates for putting on a solid display to register their first win of the campaign in their second match.
Great team performance @StadeDeReims to get our first win of the season at home. We keep going,” Munetsi said.
The former Orlando Pirates player is expected to play an important role for the Zimbabwe Warriors when they return to international football later this year in the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.