Bez Lubala trial: Woman accusing Blackpool footballer of rape says "I'm not a liar"

A bisexual woman denied accusing Blackpool FC footballer Beryly Lubala of rape to cover her regret at sleeping with a man, a court heard.

By Court reporter
Friday, 21st January 2022, 11:56 am
Blackpool FC footballer Bez Lubala
Blackpool FC footballer Bez Lubala

The woman, now aged 20, tried to retract her allegation twice before going to trial, a jury heard.

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Blackpool FC footballer Bez Lubala appearing in court accused of raping teenager

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was 18-years-old when she met the player.

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During harrowing cross-examination by Julia Smart QC, the clearly distressed woman sobbed as she repeatedly denied inventing the rape.

Ms Smart suggested she mulled over what had happened with Lubala, then aged 21, and regretted having sex with him.

"No, I'm not a liar," the woman said.

"I wouldn't have put myself through two-and-a-half years of trauma if I had just regretted something."

"Is it you got carried away and regretted you had slept with a man?" Ms Smart asked.

"I regretted going because I now have to deal with this for the rest of my life, but I didn't consent," the woman sobbed.

"My sexuality has nothing to do with this."

Asked about a Snapchat selfie she took in the player's bedroom, the woman insisted she took it before the incident.

Graphic details of the alleged rape were put to the woman who said she is now in a stable same-sex relationship.

The woman said she was crying throughout and told the player to stop.

Detailed examination of the woman continued despite Richard Hearnden for the prosecution objecting to the style of questioning.

Ms Smart told the woman: "I'm going to suggest everything that happened in that bedroom was entirely with your consent and, in fact, at your instigation and you changed your mind."

"No, I never instigated anything," the woman replied.

"I come from a respectful family."

Her Honour Judge Shani Barnes ended the cross examination by saying: "Enough."

The woman confirmed she tried to withdraw her evidence and back out of the prosecution a year before trial.

Asked by Mr Hearnden why she tried to back out of the trial, the woman said: "I have a different life now. I have a girlfriend and a career and I thought this would put me 10 steps back and it has."

The amateur sportswoman was quizzed about her previous meetings with the player.

She admitted going up to his room at a hotel in Crawley within half an hour of meeting Lubala for the first time.

They had sex and she stayed overnight, the court heard.

The court heard she met and had sex with him a second time before beginning a relationship with another woman.

Jurors at Lewes Crown Court in Brighton heard text message exchanges between them where the woman accused the player of only ever contacting her for a "booty call".

She denied the defence's suggestion she wanted a relationship with the player.

The woman said she was naive and trusting.

"He said he didn't want sex and I believed him," she said.

Lubala denies raping the young woman at his home in Horsham on September 13, 2019.

The Covid delayed trial at Lewes Crown Court in Brighton continues.

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