L’heure du procès pour Benjamin Mendy, après un an de descente aux enfers

L'heure du procès pour Benjamin Mendy, après un an de descente aux enfers

This Wednesday morning a long judicial soap opera will begin at the Chester court in England. Benjamin Mendy will appear before the English courts to answer the ten charges against him. The trial is expected to last just over a month.

Scheduled for July 25, Benjamin Mendy’s trial will finally open in England. It is in the tiny Chester courtroom that Benjamin Mendy will take his place shortly after 11am French time on Wednesday morning. It is a crucial moment for the 28-year-old, the most important month of his life. Seven women, including a minor, accuse him of ten acts. Eight rapes, one attempted rape and one assault. The events reported by the alleged victims would have all taken place in their large Prestbury chalet, south of Manchester, between October 2018 and August 2021.

“It is hot for him, the multiplicity of testimonies does not argue in his favor”, confesses a great Parisian lawyer. For six weeks, Benjamin Mendy will have to explain himself on the merits of the case and try to give explanations and a defense to convince the judges. “The explanation of his lawyer to convince the judges will perhaps be the turning point of this trial,” continues the lawyer. Discussions will primarily revolve around the issue of consent. During pre-trial hearings, the defending 2018 world champion with the Blues pleaded not guilty.

Mendy did not comply with his first judicial review

These first days of trial must first of all allow the performance of administrative acts and the constitution of the jury. From Monday, August 15, the Spanish justice will study the merits of the case. Since his release after 134 days in detention, Benjamin Mendy has been under judicial supervision. The defender no longer has a passport and is obliged to appear daily at the police station near his home. A real life in the shade for those accustomed to discos and lively nights in the heart of his village. The player is now stuck in his large house south of Manchester. Some relatives are still by his side. The defender, sanctioned by Manchester City, still takes advantage of some sporting or administrative opportunities to get fresh air outside of his house.

During the first movements of the case in November 2020 and January 2021, it was, according to our information, the judicial review that raised a problem and led to his preventive detention. Subsequently, the English justice had decided to intern the player in a prison near Liverpool before transferring him to a high-security district in Manchester.

What is at risk?

After a year of investigation, the police have added to the Benjamin Mendy file. The seven plaintiffs have always remained publicly silent. It is very rare in England to see victims speak in the media during proceedings. This Wednesday morning, Benjamin Mendy will be tried alongside Louis Saha Matturie (no relation to the former footballer). Justice accuses this man of eight rapes and four sexual assaults. This case fascinates England and is also echoed amid the announcement of sexual consent training for Premier League players.

“The sentences are consecutive, the court must take into account the principle of totality. This means that the total sentence must be proportionate, says the English lawyer Richard Furlong. That is, if you are convicted of eight violations, each of which would warrant a 10-year sentence, you will not get a total sentence of 80. The fact that someone committed eight crimes will be used to increase the total sentence of 10. years into the range of the crime, and maybe out of range. So for eight crimes, the sentence can be increased to 13 or 14 years. This is an example for better understanding.”

Regarding the rest, Benjamin Mendy should see it more clearly during the month of September. For the facts that are imputed to him, the Frenchman risks his life in England. Contacted, Benjamin Mendy’s English lawyers never wanted to talk before the start of the trial. The defender is still presumed innocent.

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