It has been nearly six months since Benjamin Mendy last appeared on camera. On Wednesday 2 February, during a preliminary hearing for his trial, images of the Manchester City full-back were captured for the first time since his time in prison as he appeared in court.
Serious demeanour and closed face
Expected to arrive at Chester Crown Court, where he was told that a sixth woman had filed a complaint against him for rape, the former Olympique de Marseille player arrived in a van. Faced with several journalists at the gates, the Frenchman emerged with a closed and masked face, dressed in a suit and tie and a long black coat, with a bodyguard escorting him to the court entrance.
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Trial set for 25 July
A serious and concerned attitude that contrasts with the arrogance described by the prosecutor that he had shown during his first hearings. Before the judge, the 2018 World Champion learned that his trial, initially scheduled for January 2022, has been set for 25 July. The BBC reports that the trial could take up to six weeks, given the length of the case and the weight of the charges against the Longjumeau native.
In the meantime, Benjamin Mendy is still under strict conditional release from custody. A new preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11 March. The Le Havre-trained defender has not yet indicated whether he will plead guilty or not, which could have a significant impact on the sentence he faces.