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Blackpool footballer Beryly Lubala is CLEARED of raping an 18-year-old girl

Blackpool footballer Beryly Lubala is CLEARED of raping an 18-year-old girl after inviting her to his hotel room for ‘Netflix and chill’ and having sex with her

  • Blackpool striker Beryly ‘Bez’ Lubala, 24, said he was ‘delighted’ with the verdict
  • Jury at Lewes Crown Court took less than two hours to find footballer not guilty
  • He had been accused of raping a woman in 2019 – an allegation which he denied
  • Lubala earlier told police he invited woman for ‘Netflix and chill’ in his hotel room


A professional footballer has today been cleared of raping an 18-year-old girl after inviting her to his hotel room for ‘Netflix and chill’ and having sex with her. 

Blackpool striker Beryly ‘Bez‘ Lubala, 24, said he was ‘delighted’ with the verdict and keen to get back to playing football after being cleared by a jury.

The forward thanked his legal team after a jury at Lewes Crown Court, Brighton, took less than two hours to find him not guilty. 

He had been accused of grabbing a woman’s hair and telling her to keep quiet and ‘be a good girl’ before raping her in September 2019 – allegations which he denied.

Blackpool striker Beryly ‘Bez’ Lubala (pictured arriving at court earlier this month), 24, said he was ‘delighted’ with the verdict and keen to get back to playing football after being cleared

Speaking after the verdict, the player said: ‘I am delighted with the verdict and I would like to thank Jesus Christ my Lord and saviour.

‘Thank you to my family and friends for standing by me through what has been an incredibly difficult period of my life.

‘I would also like to thank the jury, and the judge Her Honour Shani Barnes for their time.

‘Finally, I would like to thank Julia Smart QC, and my solicitor Iqbal Ahmed for their hard work and support.

‘Now that a jury has found me to be innocent of all charges I wish to put this episode behind me and focus on my family, my future, and my career as a footballer.’

Lubala was arrested in September 2019 a year before his transfer from Crawley Town FC to Blackpool for £300,000.

Speaking after the verdict, the player (pictured in January 2021) said: 'Thank you to my family and friends for standing by me through what has been an incredibly difficult period of my life'

Speaking after the verdict, the player (pictured in January 2021) said: ‘Thank you to my family and friends for standing by me through what has been an incredibly difficult period of my life’

He was not charged until January 2021 after he had already started playing first team football for his new club.

Lubala previously told police he messaged the woman and suggested she came over to his hotel room where they could ‘Netflix and chill’.

During the interview he said they had sex on two occasions but on the night of the allegation he did not want intercourse because he was playing football the following day and needed his energy for the game.  

There were excited gasps from his family and friend in the public gallery when the jury foreperson confirmed the verdict as not guilty.

The forward thanked his legal team after a jury at Lewes Crown Court (file photo above), Brighton, took less than two hours to find him not guilty

The forward thanked his legal team after a jury at Lewes Crown Court (file photo above), Brighton, took less than two hours to find him not guilty

Some of his family could also be heard sobbing quietly. 

Judge Shani Barnes said: ‘Thank you all for staying so calm, I know that was hard for you.’

The judge told the jury: ‘This one took on a whole new level of pressure. People’s lives were on hold.

‘You are free to go back to your lives and Mr Lubala is free to go back to his.’

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