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Blackpool football star, Beryly ‘Bez’ Lubala, 24, ‘grabbed 18-year-old woman by the hair and told her to be a good girl before he raped her’, court hears

A young footballer who plays in the Championship as a striker allegedly raped a teenage girl after inviting her to ‘Netflix and chill’, a court heard today.

 

Blackpool forward Beryly ‘Bez’ Lubala, 24, is accused of grabbing the 18-year-old by the hair, telling her to stop making noise and ‘be a good girl’ before the alleged rape on September 13, 2019.

Blackpool football star, Beryly

The woman, now aged 20, told police she made it clear she did not want sex with the player in several text messages before driving to his home in Horsham near Crawley, West Sussex.

 

Although the pair had slept together in the past, the woman said they had ‘been friends for ages’ and she was invited to watch television.

 

During Mr. Lubala’s trial at Lewes Crown Court today, a recording was played of the woman sobbing as she told police: ‘I said no and he carried on. He turned into a different person.

 

‘There was no kind of listening to what I did and didn’t want. It was just like a stranger.’

 

Mr. Lubala was attracting attention from Championship and Premier League scouts after joining Crawley Town from Birmingham City at the time of the alleged attack in September 2019. He joined Championship side Blackpool a year later.

Blackpool football star, Beryly

The court heard the woman, who identifies as bisexual, had previously slept with the player twice before beginning a relationship with another woman.

 

One occasion took place in a hotel on the day he arrived in Crawley and again in a house he was sharing with other young players, but she blocked him from her social media while she was dating the woman.

 

After the relationship ended, the player contacted her again by text message.

 

The jury heard the player told her he only wanted to watch Netflix and chill before she agreed to visit him a third time.

 

Emotional voice messages recorded as the woman drove herself home were then played to the jury.

 

Prosecutor Richard Hearnden told the jury they could hear the woman say she felt ‘violated’ in the recordings of her phone call to police, in which she was heard crying. 

 

‘I drove up to my friend’s house,’ she said in the call. ‘We’ve been friends for ages. We have slept together in the past.

 

‘We were just chilling and it just happened and I didn’t want him to. I told him I didn’t want him to. I’m just driving home in the dark, I can’t stop crying.’

 

Mr. Hearnden told the court: ‘She wasn’t raped by a stranger or outdoors or in the street or in an alleyway.

 

‘She was raped by a man she knew, in his house.

 

‘She wasn’t in a relationship with the man but they had been intimate before.’

 

Beryly Lubala denies raping the young woman at his home in Horsham. The trial at Lewes Crown Court continues.

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