Domestic violence charges withdrawn against former footballer Ryan Giggs

Domestic violence charges have been dropped against Ryan Giggs after his former parter “indicated an unwillingness” to continue.

Former footballer Giggs, 49, was not present at the pre-trial review at Manchester Crown Court as the Crown Prosecution Service announced it was withdrawing all charges, and abandoning a retrial.

He has now been formally found not guilty of all charges.

The former Manchester United winger and Wales manager had denied controlling or coercive behaviour over a three-year period towards his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville, 38, between August 2017 and November 2020.

Giggs was also accused of assault by “losing control” and headbutting her and the common assault of Ms Greville’s sister, Emma, by elbowing her in the jaw, during a row at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, on November 1 2020.

He denied the offences and underwent a month-long trial, ending in August 2022 when the jury failed to reach any verdicts.

Prosecutors then sought and were granted an application for a retrial, scheduled to begin on 31 July, after telling Judge Hilary Manley that the complainants were willing to give evidence at a second trial.

But on Tuesday, 18 July, prosecutor Peter Wright KC told Manchester Crown Court that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) were not now proceeding with the case.

Mr Giggs was not present at the hearing at Manchester Crown Court. Credit: PA Images

Peter Wright KC said Giggs’ ex-girlfriend Kate Greville had “indicated an unwillingness” to give evidence in a re-trial as giving evidence in the first trial had “taken its toll” on her and her sister Emma.

Mr Wright said: “This is not a decision taken lightly.”

He said there was no realistic prospect of conviction on count one, that of coercive and controlling behaviour, and it was no longer in the public interest to proceed to prosecute on the other charges of assault on Miss Greville and her sister.

He added: “That being the case, we formally offer no evidence on counts one, two and three.”

Judge Hilary Manley replied: “I formally enter not guilty verdicts in respect of those counts.”

Mr Wright earlier told the court the welfare of the complainants “are at the very centre of the decision-making process”.

Referring to the first trial in 2022 he said: “In this case, Miss Greville and her sister Emma gave evidence over a number of days in a case when there was considerable media and public interest, and it is that particularly that that’s taken its toll on them, in particular Kate Greville.”

Mr Wright said there had been “protracted” efforts to find out why she was unwilling to co-operate with a second trial but prosecuting lawyers did not think it appropriate to issue a witness summons to compel her to give evidence for a second time.

Ryan Giggs resigned as Wales coach in June after being on leave from the post since November 2020. Credit: PA Images

Chris Daw KC, defending Giggs, who was not present in court, said: “Mr Giggs is deeply relieved the prosecution has finally come to an end after almost three years in which he’s been fighting throughout to clear his name.

“He has always been innocent of these charges, there’s been very, very many lies told about him in court.

“He’s now been found not guilty of all the charges and going forward would like to rebuild his life and career as an innocent man.”

Giggs is now hoping to revive his career in the game after being cleared of the allegations, and has “unfinished business” in football, a source close to the former player says.

The 49-year-old left the Wales job in the run-up to the last World Cup while facing trial.

“His intention is to resume his managerial and coaching career," a source said. "He’s got unfinished business in the game.

“The last three years his life has been put on hold, but he’s a huge football man.

“He’s been found not guilty and wants to get back into the game. He’s football through and through.”

The CPS said it had made the decision to withdraw charges after deeming it was "no longer in the public interest to prosecute".

A spokesperson said: “At all stages we keep cases under careful review, to ensure our legal test is met. This means there must be a realistic prospect of conviction based upon the available evidence and a prosecution is in the public interest.

“Following a recent change in circumstances in this case we have determined our legal test is no longer met.

“We have determined there is no longer sufficient evidence available to proceed in respect of the controlling or coercive behaviour charge and that it is no longer in the public interest to prosecute the remaining assault charges.

“This decision was made following detailed discussions with Greater Manchester Police and consultation with the complainants.

“It is not the function of the CPS to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for the criminal court to consider.

“We encourage any potential victims to come forward and report offences to the police and we will prosecute wherever our legal test is met.”

Ryan Giggs was a star at Manchester United Credit: Richard Sellers/PA

During Giggs’ time at Old Trafford, Manchester United won 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, four FA Cups and three League Cups.

Giggs stood down as manager of the Wales national team following a period of leave since November 2020.

He won 64 caps for Wales and is co-owner of League Two side Salford.