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Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy has been freed on bail ahead of his trial on rape charges.

Mendy, 27, accused of attacking five women between October 2020 and August 2021, was freed after a bail hearing at Chester Crown Court on Friday.

The French international has been in custody for 134 days, since first being arrested and charged on August 26 last year.

The footballer, held at HMP Altcourse, Liverpool before recently being transferred to HMP Manchester, was granted bail by Judge Patrick Thompson at a private hearing from which the press was excluded, while bail was discussed.

The defendant had been due to go on trial this month, but the trial has been put back to June 27 at the earliest.

After bail had been discussed between lawyers for Mendy and the judge, reporters were allowed back into court.

Judge Thompson granted Mendy bail until January 24, the date of his next court hearing.

READ ALSO Benjamin Mendy moved to maximum-security prison for safety

The full bail conditions were not given in open court, but Mendy was told he must live at his home address, not to contact complainants and surrender his passport by midnight on Friday.

Mendy, wearing a black suit and white shirt, replied, “OK” to the judge.

The defendant, of Withinlee Road, Prestbury, Cheshire, is accused of eight offences against five different women including seven counts of rape relating to four women and one count of sexual assault.Liam Shaw joins Motherwell as Celtic plan mass offload

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