Footballer Benjamin Mendy Radiates Joy as He Engages in Local Kick-About in Manchester, Just Days After Acquittal on Rape Charges
Former Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy, 28, was seen with a beaming smile as he arrived at a local kick-about in Manchester, just two days after being cleared of rape allegations. Wearing his former team’s kit, Mendy met with local lads at the Powerleague venue, surprising them when he expressed his interest in joining their five-a-side game.
Having turned up unannounced at the sports complex in Ardwick on Sunday, Mendy interacted with a group of young fans, leaving them “shocked” and delighted by his presence. Photos shared on Twitter captured the footballer laughing and engaging with the enthusiastic youngsters.
Mendy had faced serious accusations of sexual assault, but on Friday, he was acquitted by a jury at Chester Crown Court after three hours of deliberation. Overwhelmed with emotion, Mendy tearfully expressed his gratitude, saying, “Praise be to God.” Following the not guilty verdicts, he broke down in the dock and later conveyed his delight with the outcome.
This recent trial marked a retrial for Mendy on one count of rape and one count of attempted rape, allegedly occurring during parties that violated COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. However, Mendy had already been cleared of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault in a previous court case in January.
Currently a free agent after his Manchester City contract expired in June and his last game for the Premier League champions took place in August 2021, the French international defender now seeks to rebuild his life. A return to top-flight football appears likely for Mendy, as he seeks to resume his professional career.
Outside the courtroom, Mendy refrained from making any comments, except to say, “Alhamdulillah,” an Arabic phrase meaning “Praise be to God.” Jenny Wiltshire, Head of Serious & General Crime at Hickman & Rose, spoke on behalf of Mendy, expressing his gratitude to the jury for focusing on the evidence presented during the trial, rather than the rumors and innuendo surrounding the case since its inception.
As Benjamin Mendy embarks on rebuilding his life, his joyous appearance at the local kick-about in Manchester serves as a testament to his resilience in the face of adversity.